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Researchers Find Gaps In Iranian Filtering

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the gaming-the-system dept.

Censorship 156

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "With all the turmoil and internet censorship in Iran making it difficult to get an accurate picture of what's going, security researchers have found a way to locate gaps in Iran's filtering by analyzing traffic exiting Iran. The short version is that SSH, torrents and Flash are high priorities for blocking, while game protocols like WoW and Xbox traffic are being ignored, even though they also allow communication. Hopefully, this data will help people think of new ways to bypass filtering and speak freely, even though average Iranians have worse things to worry about than internet censorship, now that the reformists have been declared anti-Islamic by the Supreme Leader. Given the circumstances, that declaration has been called 'basically a death sentence' for those who continue protesting." Reader CaroKann sends in a related story at the Washington Post about an analysis of the vote totals in the Iranian election (similar to, but different from the one we discussed earlier) in which the authors say the election results have a one in two-hundred chance of being legitimate.

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156 comments

Prot or protocol blocking? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410089)

so does this mean i can use the port number of xboxlive and wow to send and receive data?

Grotesquely Ugly Truth (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411555)

In the absence of an external interfering force (e. g., the army of the Soviet Union), the fate of a nation is determined by its people. Period.

After the Kremlin exited Eastern Europe, the peoples of each nation in Eastern Europe rapidly established a genuine democracy and a free market. Except for Romania (where its people killed their dictator), there was no violence.

In Iran (and many other failed states), no external force is imposing the current brutal government on the Iranians. The folks running the government are Iranian. The president is Iranian. The secret police are Iranian. The thugs who will torture and kill democracy advocates are Iranian.

If the democracy advocates attempt to establish a genuine democracy in Iran, violence will occur. Why? A large percentage of the population supports the brutal government and will kill the democracy advocates.

Let us not merely condemn the Iranian government. We must condemn Iranian culture. Its product is the authoritarian state.

We should not intervene in the current crisis in Iran. If the overwhelming majority of Iranians (like the overwhelming majority of Poles) truly support democracy, human rights, and peace with Israel, then a liberal Western democracy will arise -- without any violence. Right now, the overwhelming majority clearly oppose the creation of a liberal Western democracy. The Iranians love a brutal Islamic theocracy.

The Iranians created this horrible society. It is none of our business unless they attempt to develop nuclear weapons. We in the West are morally justified in destroying the nuclear-weapons facilities.

Note that, 40 years ago, Vietnam suffered a worse fate (than the Iranians) at the hands of the Americans. They doused large areas of Vietnam with agent orange, poisoning both the land and the people. Yet, the Vietnamese do not channel their energies into seeking revenge (by, e. g., building a nuclear bomb) against the West. Rather, the Vietnamese are diligently modernizing their society. They will reach 1st-world status long before the Iranians.

Cultures are different. Vietnamese culture and Iranian culture are different. The Iranians bear 100% of the blame for the existence of a tyrannical government in Iran. We should condemn Iranian culture and its people.

Internet filtering (5, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410107)

The Internet is The Internet.

Information will get from anywhere to anywhere unless Iran completely disconnects itself from the rest of the 'net. There are as many ways to hide "communications" as there are protocols and servers out there, and no one can do a bloody thing about it. Even a "whitelist" style system would have holes in.

Re:Internet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410395)

The internet wasn't built to resist nuclear irradiated mutant squirrels.
This is its only weakness.

Re:Internet filtering (3, Insightful)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410675)

The importance is in the subtelty, "Information will get from anywhere to anywhere" should really be "Information can get from anywhere to anywhere". The internet's sophistication is such that any geek will be able to find a hole, but would some Iranian whose friend has just been shot and wants to tell the world?

The widescale filtering may do little to deter the geeks but it has had a profound effect on the average Iranian. [arbornetworks.com] By blocking simple messaging protocols they have achieved their goal for the majority of the population and so by finding other simplistic ways (such as through the xbox) for people to communicate the damage can be undone.

Re:Internet filtering (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410709)

On the other hand, bloody is about the ONLY way they can stop things.

Now that the SL has declared the protestors anti-islamic, the police probably have the duty to KILL ON SIGHT anyone found protesting.

Which is really sad. That means it's literally do or die for any revolution.

Re:Internet filtering (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410871)

Now that the SL has declared the protestors anti-islamic, the police probably have the duty to KILL ON SIGHT anyone found protesting.

I don't believe it is the police doing the killing. The killing is being done by the Basij. They're the ones who shot Neda, a young girl, supposedly only 16.. Google "Neda" if you aven't already.

I'm seeing people on twitter suggesting that protesters carry a Koran.

Re:Internet filtering (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411271)

Ssshhhh you're scaring "progressives" out of their little fantasy world. In a minute you're going to say that it's islamic law to kill anyone who tries to leave their "tolerant" religion. Their world is built on all religions being equally good, and tolerant, when of course all signs point entirely the other way. Just because one religion pushes the "turn the other cheek", and separation of religion and state, does not negate the fact that nearly all religions are in fact repressive totalitarian ideologies, like socialism. There is exactly one religion that wants separation of religion and state, (nearly) all others prescribe a repressive state like the iranian one.

We all know this is true, of course, and that such executions have taken place even in the US. But shhhhh ... you're scaring progressives. In a minute you're going to start saying that we should do something about that. Of course muslims fear (or know) that preventing them from executing anyone they don't agree with will cause an immediate collapse in their religion (and even the most optimistic of them see an immediate and massive splintering), so they won't let that happen. That means we would have to fight to make that happen.

Above all, don't ask the forbidden question : "what if this 'revolution' gets shot to bits in the name of the paedophile prophet, and the corpses pile up without political change ?". This would prove that peaceful evolution doesn't work, and that any change will have to be preceded by an application of superior force toward any islamic state. In a word, that the only starting point for Iranian freedom would be an invasion. Worse : an invasion at least parly in the name of destroying a particular religion.

Re:Internet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28412289)

I wonder how true all of this "Internet is unstoppable" talk really is. I suspect the reason why communication still works is because the country would take too much of an economic hit if businesses had no way of communicating internationally. Communication is as essential to conduct commerce in many sectors as electricity.

Traditionally most Internet traffic has been routed through telecoms with the general trend in the US anyway for smaller ISPs to die as the likes of comcast et al roll in you end up with a situation where turning off a handfull of giants can effectivly block most IP based communications. In the middle east ISPs are typically licensed by the government and require explicit authorization to exist.

NEMO like peer to peer messaging via phones bluetooth or wifi radios is possible but ineffecient.. There are no reasonably designed widely adopted implementations in existance.

If the network is out for long enough people will no doubt start dusting off their old TNCs and makeshift radio towers and the result will be that anyone who really wanted to could talk again... but initially if the government really wanted to stop all network communication you would have few options (sneaker net or finding someone with radio gear)

... and publicly announcing this (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410109)

... and publicly announcing this will help these gaps to stay unfiltered?

Re:... and publicly announcing this (2, Insightful)

juenger1701 (877138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410147)

unfiltered: yes

unmonitored: no

Re:... and publicly announcing this (5, Insightful)

bbernard (930130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410927)

"and publicly announcing this will help these gaps to stay unfiltered?"

It is in Iran's best interest to filter as little as possible. If you're a devout WoW player, they'd rather let you spend time on that, being oblivious and happy, than risk you being pissed off that you can't play. The most important thing for Iran's government to do is to try and make sure that no more people join the protests, and that those who have get discouraged by the hardship and return to their "comfortable" lives. They want people to return to "normal" even if it is just a sham because they can control the people that way. That requires people not paying attention to what the government is really doing, which requires giving people somewhere to "bury" their heads. The Internet is GREAT for that. I never found so many ways to waste my own time until I first opened that Mosaic browser one day...

What Iran's government has been doing with regard to filtering has been disturbingly effective. Yes, the protesters are getting together and communicating with each other, but there's no reliable sources of verifiable news. No reliable death count. No clear picture of what is happening. Citizen journalism is great, but it pales in comparison with what real news-gathering resources can do. So foreign governments are limited in their response, and that response is even more limited in the audience within Iran that can see it.

Don't discount the ability to keep information away from the militia men as well. The Iranian government is more dependent than ever on the blind faith of their security forces. They must be fed the party line, and be made to swallow it. You don't get that kind of obedience when those forces are allowed to think for themselves. So you deny them the ability to gather data to make up their own minds.

So yes, Iran is not blocking all possible methods of communication, but they're effective enough that they still may pull this off.

Information is power, and the information required to make your own decisions is the ultimate expression of that power.

Re:... and publicly announcing this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411625)

Ummm... yeah... You've just given Savik more ports to block.... Nice going!!

Good job (2, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410117)

Now the censors know what they are missing.

Re:Good job (3, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410149)

Yes, I'm sure they read slashdot. After all, they have nothing else to do.

Re:Good job (4, Interesting)

juenger1701 (877138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410181)

maybe not Slashdot but security sites dedicated to finding flaws and gaps in their filtering most likely get looked at

Re:Good job (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410183)

"they" don't. Their spies and research departments do.

RS

I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410131)

We pretty much know what Iran is all about. It is rather overt and obvious to most everyone. Any illusion about a democratically elected government can pretty much be put to rest. And now that they are invoking religious law (not that they haven't been all along) it is clear exactly where the source of power is. (Save the comments about the U.S. putting the Ayatolla into power, I already know.)

But I keep asking myself, why should we care at all? Will we care and demonstrate as much as the Iranians when the next freedom eroding thing happens in the US? Will we take to the streets in protest of ACTA? Will we collectively burn our required government healthcare cards? I seriously doubt it. The government controllers in the U.S. long ago learned the secret that other governments have yet to figure out. Keep the slaves comfortable, busy and distracted, and they won't put up a fight.

Why care about Iran? (4, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410169)

Petrodollars. Iran is threatening to sell oil in Euros. If people didn't have to buy dollars in order to pay for oil, the US government couldn't create as many as it wanted, which means that the military spending would have to stop.

 

Dumbest comment ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410627)

You know where the US gets most of the oil from, right? Hint, it aint Iran or Iraq.
Your comment makes no sense whatsoever. And considering military spending is a small percent of the federal budget, it wouldn't make a difference at all.

Re:Dumbest comment ever (-1)

fedcb22 (1215744) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410705)

Re:Dumbest comment ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410773)

Yes really.. look at your own link, you tool.
And as a percent of the federal budget, 21% at this time is nothing compared to the Cold War years.

You just got pwned.

Re:Dumbest comment ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411001)

Yes really.. look at your own link, you tool.
And as a percent of the federal budget, 21% at this time is nothing compared to the Cold War years.

It's 1/5 of the entire budget, and the second largest expenditure after medicare and medicaid.

Saying that budget is small compared to the Cold War and saying "military spending is a small percent of the federal budget" are entirely different things. The military budget is a huge percentage of the overall budget.

Six Hundred and Thirteen Billion Dollars is not chump change.

Re:Dumbest comment ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411135)

Wow public health spending is already more than double the military spending, and Obama's not even got started yet.

I have few illusions about such things as, well, facts, putting the "military conspiracy" loons to rest though.

It doesn't matter (4, Informative)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410859)

Oil is sold on the open market, and currently, mostly in dollars, meaning that the source isn't as important as the ability to pay for it. Any major disruption in total world supply will have an effect on the ability to pay for it, because the market will bump the price up fast, including the oil from those nations you currently import the most from. They are not going to arbitrarily keep supplying at a much lower price "just because".

If/when (and I think inevitably) oil becomes priced in a lot more currencies than dollars, it will just cost more for US consumers. All these other nations aren't *that* stupid, they realize as the FRN gets inflated daily, it becomes worth less and less. Eventually they just won't think or accept that the dollar is worth what some blowhards in DC and wallstreet claim it is worth. The FRN is a debt instrument that currently is backed by more debt instruments, and not much else. Back when the petrodollar phenomenon took hold, it worked for the US because where we bought oil from turned around and used those petrodollars to buy US manufactured stuff. Plus, the US domestically produced most of the oil it needed anyway, something not true today.

Now let us contemplate the status of world trade and manufacturing from 50 years ago to today...hmm..

Starting to see the longer term ramifications of this? When those foreign nations could get real stuff for the swap, it was acceptable, now they are being told they need to just swap their real stuff-oil or various other commodities- for debt instruments backed by "the full faith and credit" of the biggest liars and conmen out there, who are already in hock to them to the tune of trillions.

They talk about peak oil, I think the larger picture is we have hit "peak trust" with the tangible producing world versus the US economic system, which apparently the main top official focus seems to be just creating paper and electronic "products" and that those, "trickled down" through keeping everyone in the US in perpetual debt via the credit "industry" combined with national government debt, will be enough to sustain everyone, that all these other folks will just keep swapping their real stuff for fancy IOUs in various flavors.

I think that isn't going to work for much longer. YMMV. My bet is on the tangibles and the tangibles producers winning the "what is worth more" global economic wars.

It doesn't matter where the US gets it's oil. (2, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410979)

You know where the US gets most of the oil from, right? Hint, it aint Iran or Iraq.

Totally irrelevant. This has bugger all to do with where the USA buys it's oil.

The rest of the world buys US dollars so that they can buy oil. This allows the US to print (borrow) dollars into existence and then spend them on whichever projects they want to without inflation sky rocketing. Military, healthcare, whatever is the pet project of the people in charge.

This is why Iraq and Iran are so important, particularly to the USA. Saudi is even more important in this regard and why they are America's bestest friends, particularly after having seen Iraq invaded and unrest is being incited in Iran.

Does anyone actually believe that the Iranian elections have ever been anything but fixed? Oh, come on... So why all the unrest now? The Iranian Oil Bourse is due to start trading oil in euros, not dollars, real soon now. So now would be a great time to prevent that by say funding opposition to the incumbent leadership.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (5, Insightful)

batrick (1274632) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410173)

... because this is an example of how censorship (of the Internet) can have dramatic effects on rebellion, revolution, and government? Nerds everywhere should be closely watching.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (3, Interesting)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410325)

As much as I respect the Iranians who protest, what's going on in Iran is a big example of why the US may be hesitant to protest: protesting is SCARY. One of the most watched videos on Reddit recently is a gruesome video of an Iranian girl being shot to death for protesting. I think a lot of people in the US just want to be left alone by the government. Is protesting the government worth risking your neck or your job? What about your spouse and children? It's sad, but that seems to be the case.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (4, Interesting)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410457)

As much as I respect the Iranians who protest, what's going on in Iran is a big example of why the US may be hesitant to protest: protesting is SCARY. One of the most watched videos on Reddit recently is a gruesome video of an Iranian girl being shot to death for protesting. I think a lot of people in the US just want to be left alone by the government. Is protesting the government worth risking your neck or your job? What about your spouse and children? It's sad, but that seems to be the case.

I guess too many people have forgotten KENT STATE, or don't know our history, or just don't care anymore? Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Those who remember now seem doomed to apathy.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (3, Informative)

deviceb (958415) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410485)

yes, until you are left alone.
Neda was shot in the heart in front of her father for protesting.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410511)

The protests we have in the US every year would seem to contradict your theory. The most recent being the tea parties, then there are the G8 protests, NAFTA protests, the protests at the presidential political conventions... Sorry, but the US has protests all the time.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (4, Informative)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410563)

I'm guessing you've never lived in D.C. or New York were protests are common things. Among the dozens or hundreds a year, there's at least one protest against the NYPD for a shooting, rape, etc. That puts the protesters directly up against the people they're protesting against. And a lot of these are a few dozen people but some are large, loud and pissed. There was a police shooting in NYC a few years ago and Jesse Jackson lead a march on City Hall. The crowd was loud enough I could hear them through a closed office door on the twentieth floor.

Actually just look back at the 2000 presidential election, there was a lot of protesting against the results in Florida... across the country. The tea parties earlier this year were protests.

So yes... US citizens can and do protest. Thankfully we live in a country where that usually doesn't lead to bloodshed... but even that has happened on very rare occasion. Complete with pictures of people being shot and dying. [wikipedia.org]

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28412043)

Just because we can and do protest doesn't mean we're doing anything useful or anything to be proud of. Marching on a building and standing there making noise outside is rarely an effective kind of protest, especially when people are so insistent on maintaining the peace that they'll shut up and go with the cops or break up on a moment's notice. That's really sending a good message - "We don't like X, but we're not going to fight about it. You guys should just listen while we yell at your office." I haven't seen ANY results from the tea parties (and if you have, please let me know). It's all well and good to let your opinion be known, but my opinion is that protests without clear results are wasted time. If you're going to launch a protest movement and tell everyone you're against raising the federal debt, you need to organize well enough to get something done to reduce the damn debt. Tbqh, I'd rather have seen the Tea Parties become a nationwide movement that worked to repair what they saw as injustices either by grassroots movements or lobbying/voting, instead of a splintered bunch of mob gatherings in major cities who went home and went back to their couches and felt pleased for waving a few signs. The US doesn't have protests. It has loud board meetings on other peoples' lawns.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (4, Insightful)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410363)

I don't know, maybe because some of us care about other people, and their rights, no matter where they are in the world. Maybe not everyone's a cynic all the time.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411285)

The fact that if they succeed it could have help us avoid WW3 is a nice touch as well.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410375)

Keep the slaves comfortable, busy and distracted, and they won't put up a fight.

Oh you mean like we've done here in Europe since the times of ancient Rome when they invented the bread-and-games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses) doctrine? Well sometimes even that can only go so far, as shown by countless revolutions in the past. You can keep them fed and you can keep them entertained, but at some point, they will get bored of you and throw a revolution. Then said revolution counts as entertainment until the new (or old) government is well settled and finds some new sand to throw in the people's eyes.

Re:I keep asking myself why we care about Iran? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411159)

On one side of the world, we have death and destruction caused by actions by the US government, on the other side of the world, Britney Spears shaves her head and shows her twat. Guess what people are talking about?

USA never liked the iranian govt (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410137)

First they tried with war. Now they are trying to bring down the government. The oposition is a puppet of USA. The elections were valid. The protests are initiated by CIA and the news coverage is unfair. And, besides, we don't really care what happens to Iran and whether the USA appointed president will finally manage to take over Iran and make it McDonalds country. Really, if we cared we'd visit CNN.com or something.

Re:USA never liked the iranian govt (2, Informative)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410305)

First they tried with war. Now they are trying to bring down the government. The oposition is a puppet of USA. The elections were valid. The protests are initiated by CIA and the news coverage is unfair. And, besides, we don't really care what happens to Iran and whether the USA appointed president will finally manage to take over Iran and make it McDonalds country. Really, if we cared we'd visit CNN.com or something.

Mahmoud! You here! How are things?

Re:USA never liked the iranian govt (2, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410417)

Do you really, honestly believe the CIA is competent enough to organize a nation-wide rebellion?

It's not all that competently done (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410547)

So, yes, they could manage this farce.

PS how did they manage to get the Shah of Iran in Iran in the first place? How did they manage to get Saddam set in power when the Shah was kicked out?

Manuel Noriega.

Grenada.

Cuba (pre Castro).

Many, many more.

If the CIA can't manage this demonstration, how did they manage all those others?

Re:USA never liked the iranian govt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28412165)

Do you really, honestly believe that the largest, most powerful intelligence agency in the world couldn't organize a nation-wide rebellion if they wanted to?

Re:USA never liked the iranian govt (2, Interesting)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410527)

Hmm. I wonder what's more likely, a corrupt regime where the most influential leader is the highest religious authority as well or a government led by a democratically elected president.

Re:USA never liked the iranian govt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410595)

They just had elections you know...

Or by "dictator" you were referring to Bush?

nomoreiranplease? (5, Interesting)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410269)

It is hard to fathom how the story of the year (also the tech story of the year) could be tagged "nomoreiranplease". Tech has played a critical role in this event. Who ever thought that twitter could actually be useful? The diaspora of communications technologies has proved very hard to shut down, and it will be interesting to see what new communications tech adds to this in the future.

One issue this brings up is the differences between the fark [fark.com] free-for-all comment system (including images!) versus slashdot's moderation. The contribution of fark to reporting what has been going on in Iran has been really impressive, and fark is essentially a news aggregator just like slashdot. Does the moderation system of slashdot prevent a similar thing from happening here? I had hoped to see a much more vigorous discussion from the slashdot community, but the real action is elsewhere. Part of this is due to the moderation system, I think, which effectively forces an end to conversations when the mods run out.

I'm not trying to be trollish, but think this is an interesting thing to think about. Slashdot used to feel like the center of the tech universe, but has been badly outdone on this topic by fark and others.

Re:nomoreiranplease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410961)

Now that is interesting. The "free as in speech" folks have always argued that freedom of speech is a natural progression., Clearly, as our technology is progressing, this is becoming more and more true. Maybe this is just the first example of a changing world where speech is universally free?

Re:nomoreiranplease? (1)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411049)

Now that is interesting. The "free as in speech" folks have always argued that freedom of speech is a natural progression., Clearly, as our technology is progressing, this is becoming more and more true. Maybe this is just the first example of a changing world where speech is universally free?

We're getting there. The more avenues that people have to communicate, the better. I didn't understand the value of twitter before, but this whole event is a game changer. No matter how trivial a communications mechanism appears, it can make a contribution. More avenues are probably needed, so that the people can stay ahead of those that would shut communications down. If people can just talk, then we can understand each other. One gets the sense that more of us understand the people of Iran than ever before. Although we are different, the basic differences don't seem so extreme. This is a very hopeful development.

I always thought that Tim Berners-Lee deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for his invention of the World Wide Web. Communication so that we can understand each other is the key to peace, and few (if any) have made a contribution as significant as Tim to this area.

Re:nomoreiranplease? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411085)

"The" story of the year? To whom? Tech has played a critical role in this event? Well, why hasn't the government been overthrown yet? It's certainly not due to lack of IT support. Did they have computers in the 1979 overthrow?

Please re-evaluate your web-centric thinking. You know that something like 95% of fark.com users never even click on the comments, much less ever post one? It's a big circle jerk. The focus seems to be on self-congratulation and providing trivial services rather than any actual, you know, goals.

Re:nomoreiranplease? (3, Interesting)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411281)

Wow, you need to pay closer attention. Start with this Iran Update [google.com] from Fark user Tatsuma, which has been gleaned (or so I understand) from reliable twitter sources on the ground in Iran. Very little of this information is coming out in the mainstream media. Other places like 4chan have been very active in setting up proxies to get the information out. This is a very important world and tech development.

Remember that this event is only a week old. The objective should not be to have a repeat of the bloody events of 1979, which is what you get when the situation evolves too rapidly.

Re:nomoreiranplease? (3, Interesting)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411955)

While we're at it, you could check out the Project for the Old American Century site, (http://www.oldamericancentury.org/)
Which is currently devoting itself covering to the Iran mess to the extent that they have renamed themselves the "Project for the Old Persian Century" on their masthead. Half the Reddit politics links they pass on seem to be devoted to Iran today.

      Normally, I do Slashdot instead of Fark or Reddit because the mod system here actually seems to reduce the turkey level - in particular, Reddit has a bunch of 'Atheists' (who may just be posturing as part of a mass trolling) who have vowed to make all the other sections 'officially Atheists Only', and 'ruthlessly suppress all religious speech' (that's their phrases, not mine). there are probably at least 50 accounts involved, something I've never seen anything close to here. In fact, finding something like that on Slashdot would probably mean a GNAA post and 10 "me too"s, all remorselessly modded up to +5 and kept there for days, by literally dozens of throw away accounts. If someone wants to try that hard here, they'll just be setting a new mark for pathetic losers everywhere. In that sense, Slashdot's mod system works well.

      But what I'm seeing there today is that on an important news issue, there are enough thousands of people responding that trolls like that are completely drowned out, or have enough sense to stay out of the way. The information level has gone high, there's a lot of thoughtful, reasoned posting, and it's obvious that some people will be taking what they are learning in the discussion into account when it comes time to vote or contribute to political causes. On this issue, both Fark and Reddit are having real impact. maybe some of that's happening here too, but it's less obvious.

Re:nomoreiranplease? (1)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28412169)

Thanks for an interesting post. I guess that the question is "how do you make the good information rise to the top?". Although I agree that the mod system dramatically improves the signal-to-noise ratio, this post [slashdot.org] makes a strong argument that slashdot's relatively recent collectivist slant and increasingly trollish editors prevent a lot of the good stuff from being seen. There are a lot of valid comments on slashdot that are "ruthlessly suppressed" as you have described by mods with an agenda who use "-1 Troll" as "-1 Disagree".

Re:nomoreiranplease? (3, Insightful)

EQ (28372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411279)

We do need more coverage of Iran, especially from a technical standpoint. First of all, it will help us know how to best help those putting their lives on the line for liberty against a totalitarian force. Secondly, it will give those of use interested in the tech side ("news for Nerds", remember?) insight into how these can best be used to avoid censorship and repression, no matter what the source. Its a good enough rationale to provide extensive coverage here daily -- after all, how many times do you get to see a live, full scale example of censors versus leakers?

As for why the tag nomoreiran Its pretty simple. /. used to be very "techno-libertarian" in slant, way back when. It is not such a place anymore.

Rob ("Taco") and cronies (e.g. kdawson, whom I view as being irredeemably as slanted as Rush Limbaugh, just in opposite directions) have become more collectivist and pointedly anti-conservative at the expense of libertarianism (mainly by being unthinkingly knee-jerk anti-Bush, instead of well reasoned critics). Thus any political action that does not actively help their flavor of collectivism/statism or something that casts a negative light on their political favorites (i.e. Obama, liberals, socialists, etc) will receive less attention, editorially speaking. Its their own personal bias, as reflected in editorial choices of what to cover and what to try to ignore. I cannot blame them much -- the slashdot userbase has become filled with unreasoning collectivist (non-technical) poseurs, so Taco and company are just following their audience (and the money). Sadly, this means that the epithet SlashKosisn't all that far from the mark anymore.

Its not a troll or flamebait to say so (take a moment to read the actual definitions before you politically mod this post). Its just my observation. One needs a heavy set of "bogus-ness/BS" filters to get any real data out of most articles here anymore, and in general I tend to avoid most "YRO" category articles because they are simply editorials with no pretense of actually presenting any logic examination (and a proper debunking) of opposing views. I do value the book reviews and some of the limited Tech news that manages to make it past the slant here. And some of the humor here is still pretty good.

Still, it would be nice to see more information/articles on Slashdot about how tech is being used to fight what is probably one of the most evil regimes on the planet - and the religious and state mechanisms it uses to maintain its tyranny. Those "resistance" methods might come in hand in other places as well, like China, Britain and the USA, sooner than we think.

The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (-1, Flamebait)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410289)

To help illustrate, I am going to flip a fair coin 100 times. Actually i'll have a computer do it for me. I end up with...

*drumroll*

48 heads and 52 tails!

Seems pretty reasonable. The question is, now, how likely is it that I flipped exactly 48 heads and 52 tails?

If you know something about a binomial random variable (which is what we just sampled from), you know that this is (100 choose 48)*.5^(100) = .0735!

Wow...and that was with only 100 random coin flips. A 1 in 20 chance that, by their metrics, this was a fair set of coin flips (see where the logical incongruity happens?)

The bottom line is the probabilities we get out of this are not useful to think of as absolute...with so many possibilities the likelihood that any one of them in particular pops up is extremely small. However, we know that at least one of them *will* pop up. It is more useful to think of these likelihoods as relative probabilities...if you take the ratio of any two of them, that does tell you how many times more likely one is to happen than the other.

Maybe a useful test would have been to randomly generate some results and look at the likelihood ratio?

Beyond that, to truly say something like "and the probability that they cheated was X", you need to have prior distributions over cheating and not cheating.

A good example for why this is true is the following classic example: you take a test for a disease that has a 99% chance of correctly diagnosing you, and one out of every 10000000 people have this disease. It diagnosis you as positive. Should you be worried?

The answer is: given only that information above, no you should not be worried. Of 1000000000 people, there will be 10000000 false positives (multiply by 1%) and 99 true positives. The rest will be negative (including one false negative, and assuming I did the arithmetic right which is not a given). Given that you test positive, the likelihood that you are, in fact, sick, is 99/10000000. Not bad odds...

The information about how much of the population actually has the disease is what's called a prior. Without a prior on Ahmadi cheating, we cannot make a posterior (the odds after considering the test, or the election results) prediction.

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics... but actual statisticians are pretty good at this stuff. They don't often do political polling though.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (5, Informative)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410497)

This is ridiculous. You can't just conjure up some irrelevant examples and use them as an argument when they have absolutely nothing to do with it. E.g. with the coin flip test, the correct analogy would be to check what the chances are for less than 40 heads/more than 60 tails after 100 coin flips. The chances for this happening are indeed very low. That is why it is so impressive that they had 5% of the times 5 as last digit and 17% a 7. The 1/200 is not the chance to have the 5% and 17% (that would be a lot lower) but the chance of having suspicious results vs. the chance of them being false.
Besides: n/o but I'd rather believe a study made by two PhD students instead of some slashdotter.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410633)

mod parent up, grandparent has obviously not understud anything about the linked article, the claims are simply false.

the most striking thing about the election manipulations are imho that they have been done very very badly. the government obviously did not give a crap whether anyone would find out, they put some uneducated guys at a table and told them they want at least 60% of the votes and published the results after one hour of work. it would have been very simple to take into considerations many of the criticism that has come up, they should have used actual randomization and thought about which provinces voted for whom. in the end it seems like they simply did not care if anyone found out, it's like they're laughing at the world (or they're just plain naiv).

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (0, Flamebait)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410699)

I said exactly nothing false. Whether or not it is relevant to the topic on hand is left to the reader, but what I presented was just mathematic.

And, for what it's worth, this slashdotter is a PhD student in machine learning (responding to the GP's comment about 2 PhD students vs a slashdotter).

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411055)

And, for what it's worth, this slashdotter is a PhD student in machine learning (responding to the GP's comment about 2 PhD students vs a slashdotter).

Getting offtopic now but: I didn't intend to be offensive. You wouldn't want someone with a to believe someone with a statistics degree to claim Turing is an idiot right? :-)

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411815)

Turing made substantial contribution to statistics in the course of his work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good-Turing [wikipedia.org] .

The wikipedia article is kind of dry but the problem is at its simplest: after visiting an alien planet for X days and observing n species at times t1, t2,..., tn, to estimate the number of unseen species. You can make it more difficult by adding a regression-model, i.e. assuming that species are easier to find in proportion to their mass or another characteristic.

It's easy to imagine applying this to search the key-space in cryptography, but people actually use it for ecology (species) and genetics (estimate the number of functional variants) too. It has also been used to inform authorship statistics by allowing an "unknown"/unclassifiable category of authors.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28412261)

You're the one who declared a result "Garbage" in your initial header. That's your choice of inflammatory and demeaning verbiage from the very beginning, not anyone else's. To say that that choice was just (part of) the mathematics is more flamebait and you have been modded correctly. I also simply don't care if you actually are in a PHD program or not, you are way-out-of-line wrong to act this way. Since the net result is that you are giving moral support to one of the most repressive regimes since at least the death of Pol Pot or so, on an issue much more gravely serious than most Slashdot news, and you aren't actually presenting objective facts as you pretend, but stooping from the very beginning to Ad Hom's, you actually need to be at -1 for both posts.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410747)

Appearances really don't matter when you're ready to silence opposition with deadly force.

This is a nation wide tiananmen square.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

Jonas Buyl (1425319) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411127)

It's unfair to both the victims of Tianenmen square and the lives lost now to compare both. Let's pretend you should know for sure the elections weren't rigged. Would you approve of the opposition causing riots 24/7?

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (2, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28412299)

I might not approve of a riot, but then again I wouldn't exactly be a fan of big government suppressing the protests with deadly force.

If I knew the elections were fair and square, or indeed even if I didn't give a shit either way, I'd have to be pretty damned arrogant to be so ruthless.

I have nothing but sympathy for the victims in both cases, and I highly disapprove of violent repression that is COMMON to both.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411053)

Wow, thanks for getting me modded troll when in fact it was your knowledge of the subject matter that was deficient, and everything I said was just simple probability mathematics.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411167)

everything I said was just simple probability mathematics.

Well, the problem is that the Washington Post article contains data that tries to pass as probability, but is really a piss-poor example of how probabilistic analysis should be done. For starters, there were only 29 data points (vote totals from each province), and the author makes a blanket statement that each digit should appear around 10% of the time. When one appeared 5% and the other 17%, this was clearly fraud (*rollseyes*).

The problem with this is that in the long run, the digits should roughly converge toward 10% each. With so few data points, it is very likely that you will see spikes and inconsistencies. Yes, it's true that fraudulent "random" numbers are fairly simple to detect due to absences of certain digits and patterns, but there's not nearly enough data to make this conclusion. Not when looking for occurrences of 10 distinct digits.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410503)

Elections aren't random. Vote distributions aren't random. People don't usually vote via coin-flip.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410577)

It's garbage in other ways.

the model they are using is some sort of benford's law like thing. But this assumes that the distribution should be random to begin with. not likely. Moreover the kind of manipulations of concern, like shifting votes, have the same signature as legal manipulations such as bus loads of church folks showing up.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (3, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410635)

I don't think the manipulations at hand here are subtleties like "shifting votes". Seems more like "pulling numbers out of their collective ass" is what happened.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410657)

Dude, that's completely wrong. First:

If you know something about a binomial random variable (which is what we just sampled from), you know that this is (100 choose 48)*.5^(100) = .0735!
Wow...and that was with only 100 random coin flips. A 1 in 20 chance that, by their metrics, this was a fair set of coin flips (see where the logical incongruity happens?)

That's not remotely similar to their calculation. It's not a question combinatorics but a question of probability distributions. The last digits generated in a random process have one probability distribution function and human invented ones have another PDF. The comparison here is the election results vs the null hypothesis PDF. Your combinatorics example is completely irrelevant.

Without a prior on Ahmadi cheating, we cannot make a posterior (the odds after considering the test, or the election results) prediction.

Really dude, you need to read up on some statistics. What you are ranting about in that section is Bayes' theorem P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B). It's for conditional probabilities (what is the probability of A given B). It is not applicable in this situation. The prior probability of mr.A cheating has no consequence - we're just looking at the distribution of the numbers. Let me illustrate the folly of your claim: Suppose that the vote count for each and all districts ended with the number 666. Would you say that this was a probable result and that you would have to have mr. A's honesty factored in? We can just looking at the numbers make a probability calculation that tells us how improbable a deviation from the expected PDF is.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410683)

I am not claiming that it is likely that the election is fair. I am claiming that the "1 in 200" statistic is pulled out of a hat, much like the ballot numbers.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (2, Insightful)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410727)

Responding to "The prior probability of mr.A cheating has no consequence - we're just looking at the distribution of the numbers."

The claim of the article was that the probability of Mr. A not cheating was 1 in 200. That was the claim I was disputing, not the fact that the ballot numbers were wonky. I thought my point was clear, given the subject I chose for my comment.

When claiming some quantifiable likelihood that there was fraud, the prior on fraud is most definitely relevant. At the same time, the prior is most definitely impossible to know. These two things together make any posterior estimate completely meaningless. *THAT* was my point.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410889)

the prior knowledge is that the last two digits of vote results are close to random and with very small probability outside a specific range. this has been observed in numerous votes and there is no reason to doubt this prior when considering iranian elections. what they have estimated is the probability that the election results deviate as much as it did from previously observed elections. they have not calculated, like you did in your first post, what the chances are of exactly getting the results they got, instead they are comparing a distribution to a range of previously observed distributions which come from fair elections. the likelihood is very much quantifiable since they have prior knowledge of what they are looking at from other elections, they do not in any way need to know specifics of anything going on in iran.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410947)

The claim was "in which the authors say the election results have a one in two-hundred chance of being legitimate."

Your claim was "if this election were legitimate, there is a one in two-hundred chance of things turning out this way."

These are two completely different statements. The key is that one is conditioned on the fact that the election is legitimate. This is easy to find out, and is probably what was intended. The sentence provided, however, made an estimate on the odds of legitimacy, conditioning on what was observed.

If they had done this, it would be a straightforward application of Bayes rule, as someone was kind enough to point out, and requires knowledge of the prior on legitimacy.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410997)

alright, i only read this far: "The probability that a fair election would produce both too few non-adjacent digits and the suspicious deviations in last-digit frequencies described earlier is less than .005" the last sentence is bull, you're right. but i am pretty confident it was added by the journalist and is not how the study presents it.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411027)

I find that likely as well.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411035)

Especially given my prior on journalists adding garbage to the end of articles, lol

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (2, Insightful)

DrJimbo (594231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411495)

When claiming some quantifiable likelihood that there was fraud, the prior on fraud is most definitely relevant. At the same time, the prior is most definitely impossible to know. These two things together make any posterior estimate completely meaningless. *THAT* was my point.

If your statement is true then Bayesian statistics is always completely meaningless without informative priors, yet most of Bayesian analysis is done without informative priors and works quite well thank you very much.

The obvious, but unstated, assumption in the article is that they are using an uninformative prior which gives equal weight to fraud and no fraud. You are free to quibble over their use of this prior. For example if you thought (before seeing their data) there was only one chance in 10,000 chance that there would be fraud then even given their data, you would think that fraud was still not likely. But quibbling over a prior is very different from claiming nothing meaningful can come out of their analysis.

In fact, I think the penultimate sentence from the article is spot on:

The probability that a fair election would produce both too few non-adjacent digits and the suspicious deviations in last-digit frequencies described earlier is less than .005.

But I would agree with you that some of the wording in the article seems very stilted. I think this has more to do with "dumbing down" the article for popular consumption and less to do with crimes against Bayesian statistics (or whatever it is you're claiming).

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

uniquegeek (981813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410953)

"If you know something about a binomial random variable (which is what we just sampled from), you know that this is (100 choose 48)*.5^(100) = .0735!
Wow...and that was with only 100 random coin flips. A 1 in 20 chance that, by their metrics, this was a fair set of coin flips (see where the logical incongruity happens?)"

You fail at illustrating the proper point. What a bastardization of using statistics. The third sentence is ridiculous, that's not the point that the data indicates.

On a positive note, you'd make a good politician.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

skelterjohn (1389343) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410993)

At the end of the article, they say

The probability that a fair election would produce both too few non-adjacent digits and the suspicious deviations in last-digit frequencies described earlier is less than .005. In other words, a bet that the numbers are clean is a one in two-hundred long shot.

The last sentence does not follow from the first. They are saying that P(these numbers | fraud) = P(fraud | these numbers). This is not the case! If they want to be correct, they need to take into account the prior, like I have said a few times.

Don't accuse me of bastardizing statistics when first: I am not and second: I am pointing out a bastardization of statistics. Try to actual know something about the subject matter, and combine that with some reading comprehension skills before you make these accusations against me.

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (1)

Dantu (840928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411169)

48 heads and 52 tails!

Seems pretty reasonable. The question is, now, how likely is it that I flipped exactly 48 heads and 52 tails?

If you know something about a binomial random variable (which is what we just sampled from), you know that this is (100 choose 48)*.5^(100) = .0735!

Wow...and that was with only 100 random coin flips. A 1 in 20 chance that, by their metrics, this was a fair set of coin flips (see where the logical incongruity happens?)

You've used quite the wrong metric, asking "what are the odds of this EXACT outcome in a fair contest". The right question is "what are the odds of at least this this much deviation from the expected outcome in a fair contest". In the case of your coin toss your questions would be "how likely is it that in 100 flips, I will get 52 OR MORE of either heads or tails" (note that if you were asking only about tails, you'd just get 1/2 the number, but considering the odds of 50 or more tails is only 50/50% it's a bit misleading that way).

To get this you would sum all probabilities in the range, eg
(100 choose 0)*.5^(100) + (100 choose 1)*.5^(100) + .... + (100 choose 47)*.5^(100) + (100 choose 48)*.5^(100) + (100 choose 52)*.5^(100) + (100 choose 53)*.5^(100)+... + (100 choose 100)*.5^(100)
which is about 76.4%.

That is, about 3/4 tosses of 100 coins will differ from 50-50 by at least two flips, this is very similar to the probabilities for these events in the recent US election, held up in the article as an example of 'normal' results.

Now if you'd gotten something like 38-62 you'd have results about as unlikely as this election (2%).

If you're familiar with stats at all, in general it's when the odds fall below 5% that you have an interesting result, 2% is quite interesting (though it depends on how often the event happens - 2% in an election that happens once/4 years or so is going to happen by chance with a mean period of 200 years).

Re:The 1 in 200 bit is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411251)

The coin flip example was a mistake (to bring up), as evidenced by me being modded "troll" in the OP. However my actual gripe was with the article confusing the likelihood (if the election were fair, this would happen with probabilith 1/200) with posterior (if this happened, the election is fair with probability 1/200). These are two very different things and it is misleading to equate them.

I firmly believe that the election was rigged. I just don't like bad statistics.

(-skelterjohn, but I already posted 10 times today)

Please take off tag NOMOREIRANPLEASE (5, Insightful)

GabriellaKat (748072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410405)

I dont know about anyone else, but reading the tag of "NOMOREIRANPLEASE" Even if you have mixed feelings about Iran and their relationship with the US / World, there is no reason to flag a topic with such a tag line.

Re:Please take off tag NOMOREIRANPLEASE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411047)

I dont know about anyone else, but reading the tag of "NOMOREIRANPLEASE" Even if you have mixed feelings about Iran and their relationship with the US / World, there is no reason to flag a topic with such a tag line.

Sadly, the rest of the people here on Slashdot retain their rights to disagree or choose to be apathetic -- or, sometimes just childish assholes.

As much as I'm interested in the coverage of the whole Iran thing, to your lament of removing the offending tag, I pretty much have to say "boo hoo".

Nobody ever said Slashdot was a place of political correctness or sensitivity. In fact, quite the opposite.

Re:Please take off tag NOMOREIRANPLEASE (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28412305)

We need people to start tagging things "nomoreriaaplease", "nomorepiratepartyplease" or even "nomorelinuxplease"? All those have been around a lot longer, let us have something fresh to discuss for a short period of time.

setup tor bridges (4, Informative)

deviceb (958415) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410433)

search #iranelection or #neda on twitterfall.com

Isn't this unauthorised access? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410507)

Isn't this worse than what the US want McKinnon arrested for under terrorism charges?

Isn't this the same as the hacking the Chinese are accused of doing to the US computer systems?

If so, why is this OK when the others aren't?

Re:Isn't this unauthorised access? (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410673)

Here, let me set that straw man on fire for you:

No and no. Both of those situations involve someone gaining access to computer systems, where the owners of those systems don't want that someone to have access.

With the Iran situation, there are people trying to gain access to computer systems, where a third party doesn't want them to have access. To the contrary, the owners of Twitter, YouTube, and other services have been extremely supportive of the efforts of Iranians to spread the word of how the government has imported plainclothes thugs from other countries to come in and brutalize innocent people in the streets.

Re:Isn't this unauthorised access? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410713)

why is this OK when the others aren't?

It's okay in this case though, we don't like their government or its policies!

Oh wait..

Start running proxies on the WoW ports... (3, Funny)

Thrakkerzog (7580) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410509)

and when they shut down WoW, we will have a true revolution.

Iran Filtering not that weak you think! (5, Informative)

arash_hemmat (1574901) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410549)

Hi, I'm an Iranian and i've been tortured by the internet filtering here for a few years but the filtering after election is really terrible, we can't use the old ssh tunneling methods any more, in fact it seems that all encrypted packages are being dropped so we can't connect to our servers out side of Iran any more so we can't use another method for passing through the filtering, however today i've used a browser based ssh client to connect to my VPS in Germany and installed a proxy using squid but the interesting thing is that we i try to connect to facebook (or any other filtered website) the firewall changes my request to the famous "This site is blocked" page! These things was just examples of methods we tried to pass the filtering, anyway we are using other method to pass the filtering (which i will not mention here for safety!) but we have serious problems connecting to our servers over ssh, i'm going to test the ssh over http method but i know that this will be a temporary method!!!

Re:Iran Filtering not that weak you think! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410781)

Make sure your DNS accesses are tunneled as well.

Re:Iran Filtering not that weak you think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28412029)

> we can't use the old ssh tunneling methods any more

Has anyone explored the possibility of steganographic tunneling? The idea is that it would appear just like normal non-encrypted browsing. Obviously there would be a large bandwidth hit since the real content would be hidden in a lot of plaintext and images, but that's better than nothing at all. And of course you'd need some support for the outside end of the tunnel, but I think there are a lot of people in the USA and Europe who would be willing to help.

Some things are better left unsaid (1)

Corson (746347) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410581)

"Hopefully, this data will help people think of new ways to bypass filtering and speak freely"

On the contrary, now that it's public information this "security gap" has probably already been dealt with by the authorities.

Moreiranplease (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410681)

You know what? This should be a tag on every story if we really mean it.

WoW gold farmers allowed? (1)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410689)

They are probably responsible for a huge part of the Iranian exports.

/s

best way to censor the internet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28410695)

post a news article on /. such that it draws traffic into your network

voila! instant censorship

all hale the supreme leader CowboyNeal!

Petition disclosure of filtering software sold!! (4, Interesting)

Coutal (98822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28410809)

According to this: http://opennet.net/research/profiles/iran
Nokia/siemens sold filtering software to iran, quite the nefarious thing to do, perhaps even bypassing some boycott agreements and US export regulations, if containing any US code. now's the time to make them disclose what sofware they sold, and everything they know about the filtering system. a lot of lives are at stake, now's the time.
if any nokia/siemens employees are reading this, pass this on!

WOW port open (1)

univalue (1563403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411305)

Gee just setup sshd to run on the wow port. What port number or numbers are those?

Re:WOW port open (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411593)

Gee just setup sshd to run on the wow port. What port number or numbers are those?

I don't know if that would be sufficient; they are likely filtering based on the structure of the data within the packets, and not just on port numbers.

That said, I like the idea of a "WoW tunnel", where the data from the Iranian protester's computer gets encrypted/obfuscated, then sent to his WoW client as a line of text for his WoW to speak, at which point the text gets heard by a non-Iranian WoW character standing next to him, passed to a non-Iranian WoW client, from there to a matching proxy, which decrypts the text and forwards it out to the Internet... and of course, the same thing in the opposite direction.

Slow, but hard to stop without shutting down WoW...

US elections year 2000 (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 5 years ago | (#28411307)

I find it both sad and disheartening that the US is more up-in-arms about these election results in a foreign land, than they were about our own EXTREMELY questionable election results here in the US in the year 2000. As time goes on we find more and more discrepancies in those results, and nobody seems to gives a damn. A 1 in 200 chance of the election results in Iran seems far, far more likely than what happened here.

You Fail I(t (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28411617)

we need to addrees this eXploitation, numbers. The loss as the premiere backward and said you loved that Conglomerate in the
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