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Swedish Researchers Expose China's Tor-Blocking Tricks

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the one-book-swedish-made-data-pump dept.

Censorship 73

An anonymous reader writes "A pair of researchers at Karlstad University have been able to establish how the Great Firewall of China sets about blocking unpublished Tor bridges. The GFC inspects web traffic looking for potential bridges and then attempts 'to speak Tor' to the hosts. If they reply, they're deemed to be Tor bridges and blocked. While this looks like another example of the cat and mouse game between those wishing to surf the net anonymously and a government intent on curtailing online freedoms, the researchers suggest ways that the latest blocking techniques may be defeated."

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73 comments

Pedantic response ensues (5, Informative)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39560873)

While this looks like another example of the cat and mouse game between those wishing to surf the net anonymously and a government intent on curtailing online freedoms, the researchers suggest ways that the latest blocking techniques may be defeated."

I hatelove slashdot summaries, and here is another example of why. Yes, I haven't read TFA.

When you use the word "while" like this, it sounds like you're going to be contradicting the first point. Especially when you use the phrase "this looks like" immediately afterward.

Instead, the second part of the sentence goes on to directly corroborate what the scenario looks like. Surprise! While it looks like you're setting up a contradiction, you finish up with reinforcement.

So in fact it doesn't just "[look] like another example of the cat and mouse game", but in fact it literally is an example of the cat and mouse game, and the researches propose another way for the mouse to escape. And yet another awkward summary graces the Slashdot homepage, in the grand tradition.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561097)

Kind of a pointless gripe? Oh noes, an apple looks like an apple!

That said, how do you know it is an apple? It merely looks and behaves like one.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (1)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561193)

Don't express your qualms as a query. Buttnude nakedom is here for you.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561167)

And yet another awkward summary graces the Slashdot homepage, in the grand tradition.

And yet another grammar troll graces the comments, also in the grand tradition. I know this may be hard to accept but the human mind can parse language that's full of errors, paradox, contradictions, and incomplete information; And does so often. As well, linguistic rules and content both can be mutated without warning based on prior communication, current context, or implication.

Now I can understand how a certain subset of the population could have an issue with this -- they were never invited to 'those' kind of parties, have never enjoyed an interpersonal relationship with another person or group where in-jokes and contextual language created a stronger bond between them, or ever flirted with someone using innuendo so skillfully that anyone observing mid-conversation would be unable to tell any kind of flirting was going on -- a sort of sexual encryption if you will. To those poor, poor bastards (like the OP), such linguistic acrobatics would be yet another reminder that they're missing out on something.

For that subset of the population, any departure of language from the perfectly ordered and rigidly rule-bound statements would be threatening: It would be just another social nuance beyond their grasp. Another way in which those otherwise average, stupid, mouth breathers are better than them, because they don't get tripped up on details like whether a comma at the end of a statement should go inside or outside a direct quotation. For most of us language is just a tool, organically evolved, and generally not worth paying much attention to -- as long as the point gets across it's "yay! language! woo."
And,
life!
goes...
on.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561229)

For that subset of the population

And now it's time to make assumptions about the person I disagree with.

For that subset of the population, any departure of language from the perfectly ordered and rigidly rule-bound statements would be threatening: It would be just another social nuance beyond their grasp.

Too many redundant, inconsistent rules anyway.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (3, Insightful)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561381)

or ever flirted with someone using innuendo so skillfully that anyone observing mid-conversation would be unable to tell any kind of flirting was going on

Breaking one of the rules of grammar, say, by using while the way the Slashdot summary does, might be the means by which one conveys precisely that innuendo. If the speaker overall cares very little about the rules, I'm afraid no one would perceive their intentions as that subtle signal would be drowned in the flood of noise.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561837)

Meh, I agree that it is bad grammar. I agree that mistakes sometimes happen. I don't agree that said mistakes are somehow superior to proper grammar.

The person who wrote the summary, and any editors/moderators who reviewed it, should learn from the criticism.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566489)

Breaking one of the rules of grammar, say, by using while the way the Slashdot summary does, might be the means by which one conveys precisely that innuendo. If the speaker overall cares very little about the rules, I'm afraid no one would perceive their intentions as that subtle signal would be drowned in the flood of noise.

Yes, but that was an example, not the conclusion. I get tired of people spell-flaming on the internet. It's like... if you can't attack the argument, attack the grammar, and if you can't attack the grammar, attack the person. It's not like he wrote the summary in txt-speak or something... -_-

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39568593)

Then it seems that really what we have here is you being emotionally triggered by something and using rationalizations to justify your disproportionate response and ridiculous assumptions about the character of the OP. Which is silly since that's apparently something you find distasteful yourself.

Normative Syllabic Verse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561569)

Gentlemen!
I bid thee
never flirt

with a girl
in training.

A poet
and writer
never shall

win her heart.

Re:Normative Syllabic Verse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561759)

Because she suspected they were homosexuals?

Re:Normative Syllabic Verse (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561789)

Burma Shave.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561967)

as long as the point gets across it's "yay! language! woo."

And yet, it took me thirty seconds or so to parse this little snippet. A well-placed comma would have reduced that to right around 1-2 seconds.

I - and everyone else - can parse badly constructed sentences just fine. What we object to is having our time taken up by your unwillingness to spend some time building a proper sentence. Finally, that's assuming the errors can actually be identified and the content can be decrypted. Sometimes, linguistic acrobatics result in the death of the sentence or even arguments.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562195)

Of course the human brain can overlook mistakes, but it wastes resources. In one-to-one communication, the wastage is minimal, but when broadcasting, e.g., a slashdot summary, the wastage is repeated for every reader.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563095)

"I am going to score some points by belittling the socially awkward nerds. Hey, look at me bullying the geek. Ain't I awesome?"

Congratulations, I'm sure you are proud of your originality.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569203)

"troll" != "someone I disagree with".

Yeah yeah, I know that proves your point and blahblah. I don't care. Incorrect is incorrect.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570063)

I think as we approach the future promised by Idiocracy, we're going to see more and more apologists for either dumbing down or the acceptance of bad writing, poor grammar, faulty logic etc.

I wonder whether at some point in your lifetime you'll ever find yourself compelled to correct someone and then think `damn, maybe that other guy from 2012 on Slashdot had a point`?

Re:Pedantic response ensues (2)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561297)

Now, I read that totally differently from you. I see:

While this looks like another example of the cat and mouse game between those wishing to surf the net anonymously and a government intent on curtailing online freedoms,

As saying: "This looks like another story about China censoring the web"

And then:

the researchers suggest ways that the latest blocking techniques may be defeated."

Says to me:

However, this story actually suggests ways the censorship might be mitigated or defeated temporarily. So, it is contradicting the first point of it just being another censorship story, it may actually provide people in need with some advantage over their oppressors...

Re:Pedantic response ensues (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562187)

While this looks like an article simply explaining a specific detail, it turns out to be more than that.

"While" is not followed with a "contradiction." "While" is followed with a "difference," a "deviation" or even a "distinction."

"While you expect this, you get that." "While you expect a little, you get a lot." "While you expect a set of dishes, you get the dishes AND a free set of Ginsu steak knives!" "While expected X, received X + Y." "X + Y" is not a contradiction of "X" is it?

I get annoyed with bad language too. I really do. But I also make my own mistakes... typos, word omissions, run-ons, and all sorts of things like that. But when you step out on a limb to call someone on it, it's probably a good idea to actually be right.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (1)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562781)

I agree that contradiction and difference aren't the same thing. But I think I'm right in that it didn't really seem like they were pointing out a difference even. "While it looks like a cat and mouse game, the researches are participating in the cat and mouse game." Other people here disagree with me - that's cool, it's their prerogative. I can see it being read a different way.

I think there are a lot of fair critiques to my criticism (and one that was downright mean, though it got flagged as flamebait). This one is fair. I made other mistakes - I used "in fact" redundantly. I'm sure some of those who know grammar better than I can point out other flaws.

I don't think a Slashdot comment needs to be held to as a high of a standard as a Slashdot summary. The whole point is someone has the title of editor. I think that should mean they have the job of conveying information clearly and editing summaries to that effect, and I felt this summary was unclear and the editor could have stepped in to improve it.

So presumptuous of you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562421)

"but in fact it literally is an example of the cat and mouse game"

Since Chinese have not figured out how to block the new techniques - you're just projecting that they will. Therefore the summary is more correct when postulating that their action will likely, but not definitively, amount to just another cat and mouse game.

Re:Pedantic response ensues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564449)

So in fact it doesn't just "[look] like another example of the cat and mouse game", but in fact it literally is an example of the cat and mouse game

You mean figuratively. The way you've phrased it makes it seem as if we should expect to see a cat chasing a mouse.

You get what you give... Maybe take a little more time and actually read what the poster writes next time - I suspect the majority of readers would've understood the summary, even if (gasp!) they had to read it twice. And if you can't be bothered to read TFA, don't blame the poster if you jump the gun (figuratively).

Re:Pedantic response ensues (1)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565473)

Yeah, that's a bad habit of mine, I make that mistake a lot.

I meant it was literally an example of the figurative cat and mouse game, not just like it. I should heed the warnings of XKCD [xkcd.com] tho.

bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (4, Interesting)

Max_W (812974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39560901)

What if a tourist saves forbidden website or reading material, packs it onto ZIP, RAR, or 7Z archive, then renames archive as JPG. At home he/she has to just rename .JPG back to .ZIP.

It is hardly possible to check every JPG file of every tourists. Tourists bring thousands of JPG files back home on flash drives and SDHC cards.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561003)

The throughput is reasonable, but the latency is pretty high.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (4, Insightful)

Mattygfunk1 (596840) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561195)

The important part is that the information gets through.

Unfortunately spreading pro-freedom propaganda will get you sent to jail once you try to disseminate it further.

Revolution in China is inevitable (IMHO). Attempting to improve the current status technologically is a noble cause, by those who are free, for those who aren't.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (3, Insightful)

Max_W (812974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561711)

Millions of Chinese tourists travel abroad each year. On a tiny SDHC camera card of 256 GB one can bring several movies in HD quality, plus about all texts of the humanity.

What is the point of this expensive firewall? The "iron curtain" is just not possible with the flash memory cards of high capacity. Any intelligent curious person can bring for himself a library to last for years.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562877)

If you have to wait for a compatriot to leave the country and return before you get uncensored news you'll miss the protests going on downtown. The point of the firewall is to prevent an Arab Spring from occuring in China.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (2)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564257)

I would venture a guess that most of those Chinese tourists are part of the privileged upper class who live (or reside) in one of the economic zones that the Great Firewall doesn't cover anyway. Their lives are relatively good, and they are not going to rock the boat.

The people behind the firewall are in no position to leave, even for a short while.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565767)

The point isn't to keep secrets (what would they be?) It's not the existence of an idea that matters, but rather the perceived prevalence of the idea, which emboldens others to embrace it.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (2)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566647)

Well for a start, I've never met a Chinese person who didn't agree with the Great Firewall. So the reality is that the point of it is that people actually like it.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561045)

What if you have a load of CP on your hard drive and no-one knows about it?

Nerds can be really fucking grating on this point.

Look: the law does not aim to stop everyone doing anything illegal. It merely aims to set a standard for "acceptable" behaviour and keep enough people in line.

Can we stop all these arguments about a law being silly because it cannot be perfectly enforced? It's typical ego-stroking nonsense. Yes, congratulations, you and any terrorist/freedom fighter (delete as inappropriate) can get past many of the online restrictions engineered by government or business - but that's not the point.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561583)

You come onto a website, filled with people, whose profession deals with exceptions on a daily basis, and want to complain that we should accept 'good enough for most people?' Would you build a 'fly-by-wire' aviation system that worked 'most of the time'? Would you allow a loved one to fly in a plane using it?

You are such a contrast with the people who originally framed the laws (at one time) governing this country; they took the approach of letting some of the (possibly) guilty go if it meant ensuring that no one who was innocent would suffer.

As for the law itself, it does more than 'set a standard for acceptable behavior'; it is a weapon, beholden to the wants and needs, however trivial, of those who wield it. Or have you not been following the actions of the ###th Congress? Come on now, tell us the bailouts were 'merely setting a standard for 'acceptable' behavior and keeping the people in line.' Go on. Tell us how this is all an exercise in ego-stroking.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562819)

Engineering standards for safety are a completely different domain from laws, so you're not making sense. here.

Also, letting some guilty people go in lieu of innocents suffering is exactly what gp was talking about. The laws will catch people too stupid to bypass the laws. And yet people complain that there are ways around it and therefore it shouldn't even be a law. How can you not see that you are the contrast?

And bailouts... now you're just bringing up random things you don't like and ignoring the context of the conversation.

the law does not aim to stop everyone doing anything illegal. It merely aims to set a standard for "acceptable" behaviour and keep enough people in line.

This is about one specific law, not laws in general. From the sound of your post, given the references to "framers" and the American Congress and bailouts, you're not even talking about Sweden or China.

Instead of moderating AC up, I chose instead to reply specifically to you, hoping that next time your comments will be more on topic, less knee jerk, and preferably internally consistent.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564633)

"Engineering standards for safety are a completely different domain from laws, so you're not making sense." -> How so? In either case, if you f*ck up, someone can die. Perhaps the problem you are faced with here: you don't take the codification of your laws seriously enough.

"Also, letting some guilty people go in lieu of innocents suffering is exactly what gp was talking about. The laws will catch people too stupid to bypass the laws. And yet people complain that there are ways around it and therefore it shouldn't even be a law. How can you not see that you are the contrast?" -> That's not how I read it. I read it as 'this is the way things are, learn to live with it.'

"And bailouts... now you're just bringing up random things you don't like and ignoring the context of the conversation." -> Hardly, I am providing a specific example that undermines his (possible) argument. That it's not to your flavoring, or you find it inconvenient, is not my problem.

"This is about one specific law, not laws in general. From the sound of your post, given the references to "framers" and the American Congress and bailouts, you're not even talking about Sweden or China."

Correct. The discussion, as I read it from the GP's comment, switched it to a more global scope, inviting others to consider how their own legal systems would react in such cases. To that degree, I am relying on the fact that /., while enjoying international visitors, is a US-centric site. As such, it is entirely acceptable to say 'Congress' when referring to the 'U.S. Congress,' with the general idea that readers understand that.

"Instead of moderating AC up, I chose instead to reply specifically to you, hoping that next time your comments will be more on topic, less knee jerk, and preferably internally consistent." -> The style of writing is called 'flow of consciousness.' It allows you to address multiple points, as they occur to you, without writing a term paper. Try it sometime, you might find it to your liking.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (4, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561121)

It's called steganography [wikipedia.org] , and don't get caught. You shall be in a world of shit if you do, because you'll likely be treated as a foreign intelligence operative.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562071)

What's with using terms like "foreign intelligence operative" instead of straightforward "spy" nowadays, by the way? Sort of like talking about chastitiy-impaired equal-opportunity intercourse providers.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562193)

Because it is specific. "Spy" is a very broad term.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562335)

wait, aren't we all foreign intelligence operatives? Why are we even reading about how the Chinese are attacking TOR?

Think about it. We even have aliases and user numbers. Put two and two together and look in the mirror.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562519)

I don't believe you understand what steganography is. Simply changing the .ext does not change what type of file it is, nor does it hide a message within seemingly normal data.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563279)

I don't believe you have any idea what I was inferring. ... and it is a (primitive) form of steganography - hiding something in plain sight. His primitive form of it would be trivial to detect, however.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39563573)

I don't believe you understand what steganography is. Simply changing the .ext does not change what type of file it is, nor does it hide a message within seemingly normal data.

I would argue that it's the low hanging fruit of stenography. Having one file which your OS will treat as a corrupt image among a number of actual images some of which are corrupt is a form of hiding information among seemingly normal data.

They fact that it's a lot less effective/subtle/complex than more advanced methods doesn't make it not stenography. Much like using a czar cipher is still encryption even though your average school child can break it by hand with well known methods.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

renoX (11677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39568851)

Really, really poor steganography.

Modifying the low bit of images/movies seems much more safe to me, of course the issue is that this is only possible with a computer and the program.
Having a steganography program on your computer isn't very stealthy when you go through the customs.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571349)

I did say it was primitive, did I not?

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561123)

I think their government is too pragmatic to be concerned with small things like this.

The primary concern seems to be the stability of the country, which, if you imagine the USA with 4x the population density, makes sense.

If someone goes abroad and gets a banned website and brings it back, who cares?

But if they start organizing a political revolt or something like it, I would imagine that the record of their text messages would give them away.

In the same sense, the great firewall seems to be concerned with making it very difficult for most people to access filtered material. I read that it merely sends a bunch of connection interrupt requests to both sides of an http connection when it sees content that doesn't meet the filter.

And they still allow VPNs as far as I am aware, although the bandwidth of such might be throttled. But I am guessing that an ordinary citizen might have a difficult time buying VPN service from a foreign provider. And again, if as a result of seeing the "free" internet, they develop political notions that threaten the stability of the country and are doing something about those notions (organizing, etc), their text message record or their overt public actions will give them away. That's when it matters...

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561147)

It's kind of pointless to try to do that with web forums. All you get is a static snapshot and no ability to interact. In the Old Days back when each student had a Usenet account, things were much different. Then it really was possible to smuggle in and out communication on removable media.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562169)

In some countries, they really do check everything that comes in (or you should expect them to, e.g. North Korea). You may have plausible deniability if the picture just appears to be corrupted, but if they actually look at it and see a ZIP or RAR header, you're in for some pretty heavy espionage charges.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565917)

Sorry, all the file types you mentioned have a file header that clearly identifies the file type even if they're renamed. Anyone who knows this will figure out what you did pretty quickly.

And of course it's stupid simple to automatically scan for such files, you don't even have to look at the whole file so it'll scan pretty quickly.

Re:bandwith of flash drive or SDHC card (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566337)

A neat trick is to concatenate the ZIP archive onto a JPG image. It'lll look like a picture, but will unzip fine. The only giveaway is the file size.

Public v. Private (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39560983)

The fundamental problem here is that Tor is accessible to the public. No, you read that right. As long as anyone can download a Tor client and connect, that person will have the IP address of at least one other Tor user. There is very little that can be done to prevent this without limiting access to the Tor network by some kind of handshake/authentication model. At the very least, the network is vulnerable to a denial of service attack; Since it can't tell a legitimate user from an illegitimate one: By design, the traffic is encrypted and the source obfusciated.

Tor can't ever fully succeed in its objective -- it can only maintain network integrity so long as the ratios between different types of users, client accesses, etc., remain in the green. Should the balance ever tilt, the network will become unusable.

A real solution is end to end encryption network-wide, which is what IPv6 was supposed to do, but as I'm sure you've all realized; the capitalist owners of the routers, switches, ISPs, etc., have decided artificial scarcity of IP address space could be profitable to them, so IPv6 is sort of dead on arrival. But even if it weren't, the notion that the ISP can't control what connections are made based on content is not something any of them want to give up; again, in the name of profits.

So basically, we need a whole new internet, built by the people, from the ground up. And it will probably have to be wireless. The problems of wireless high speed internet between buildings is hard enough; Try between cities. :\ But that's the only way I see of re-establishing a free and democratic digital communications medium.

Re:Public v. Private (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561099)

Currently there's no reason you couldn't set up an encrypted virtual network on top of the existing network. Hell you could probably do encrypted UUCP over the current network and accomplish a lot of what you'd want to get done. You can even do E-Mail over UUCP, though I seem to recall that it was somewhat nasty.

Re:Public v. Private (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39562945)

Something like this perhaps : http://www.i2p2.de/

Re:Public v. Private (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561135)

Well, one potential way to avoid detection would be to stop responding as tor, and instead respond as say a generic web server.

Re:Public v. Private (2)

slashdotresearch_mj (2463842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561453)

I've learned a little about Tor from some comp. sci friends who work with it but I don't really know anything about hte IPv6 you brought up and it sounds interesting. Do you have any links that a social scientist and not a computer scientist, could make sense of? I like to actually hear/learn this sort of thing from a human being rather than just searching away myself in the beginning if you wouldn't mind. I end up getting better information that way it seems.

Re:Public v. Private (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561533)

A real solution is end to end encryption network-wide, which is what IPv6 was supposed to do

No it isn't. You can set up ad-hoc ipsec with keys hosted in DNS if you like - this is irrespective of whether you're using v4 or v6. The problem here is that it's a bit of effort to set it up and practically no one running a server actually does it (making setting up a client reasonably pointless). And no, this won't magically start happening if you switch to IPv6 - you still need to jump through all the same hoops to set up ipsec and practically no one does.

Re:Public v. Private (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561559)

http://freenetworkfoundation.org/

We can do it.

Re:Public v. Private (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39563889)

A real solution is end to end encryption network-wide, which is what IPv6 was supposed to do

LOLWUT?

Re:Public v. Private (1)

wanzeo (1800058) | more than 2 years ago | (#39564453)

I don't really see how IPv6 could help this problem, the government can still just operate a bunch of nodes, and then block anyone who tries to connect using tor. And nothing will ever ease the risk of operating an exit node, where you can get slammed for other people's traffic. The only reason Tor works in other countries is because of legal arguments about Tor operators not being liable for Tor traffic. Outside of a local network or a darknet where all peers know each other personally, there is no such thing as un-censorible network. That is why it is important to take an interest in government.

On an unrelated note, I don't see you point about IPv6 being DOA. In torrent swarms, I usually connect to 1/4 to 1/3 of the users using IPv6. Contrast that to zero this time last year.

Re:Public v. Private (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39565959)

My college managed to completely block tor (thankfully it was about two weeks before graduation). Tor may have improved since then though. Investigating, it looked like my college had identified and blocked all of tor's "dictionary servers", the hard coded servers it looks for to supply it with IP addresses of tor nodes. No dictionary servers, no tor nodes. No tor nodes, no onion routing.

Re:Public v. Private (1)

kevmeister (979231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566605)

Ahh...No. and no.

First, end-to-end encryption was never required by IPv6. IPv6 did include all of the hooks required to encryption which were lacking in IPv4 but there was never any idea that all IPv6 traffic would be encrypted. In the years that have passed since IPv6 specs were written that some capability has been grafted onto IPv4. It's called IPSec and is used almost universally for VPNs. You too can use it if you feel so inclined, but the key exchange part makes it rather impractical for general, let alone universal use.

Second, IPv6 is far, far from dead. There were a number of providers who were attempting to use large scale NAT to deal with the lack of IPv4 address space but most have reached the conclusion that it is simply not practical as a general solution. Too much state that must be maintained and really, really bad things happen if it becomes inconsistent.

Comcast is now doing IPv6 to homes and businesses and I believe I've heard that Verizon is starting to roll it out, as well. I know that the Comcast roll-out is still fairly limited, but the intent is to make it a universal capability as quickly as is practical without major impact on current production services. I'm a Verizon customer, but I am less certain about their status and have no idea about Cox, Time-Warner, etc. I suspect that they are also working on it.

Re:Public v. Private (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569369)

Ehm, what the hell do you think tor's objective is?

goat butt (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#39560985)

butt AS while { butt :: ass [1-100]i >> pi ass butt! !not == TRUE

Re:goat butt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561345)

What is this i dont even

charity starts at home (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561119)

Perhaps some research can be directed at liberating the wikileaks mouse?

Wasn't this already explained in January? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561237)

In this Slashdot story?
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/01/09/2320201/inside-the-great-firewall-of-chinas-tor-blocking

I thought the last link in that story explained everything mentioned above already.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39561359)

This has been known for ages and even features in this 28c3 talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX46Qv_b7F4

Glad the tor project has a solution. (5, Interesting)

hrimfaxi (2609767) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561429)

I live in China. The obfsproxy tor bridge works for me. The GFW staff now have to find the address of tor obfsproxy bridge manually to block it. As long as so far as they didn't find out the unpublished bridge address yet Tor works fine for me.

In China people are seeking different ways to breach GFW. We mainly use SSH tunnel, OpenVPN, or some sorts of HTTPS proxy (with some obfuscation needed by both sides or it doesn't work for GFW has capacity to probe SSL/TLS proxy).

I am glad tor now is functioning again in China. Just began to spread the obfsorxy tor browser to the others who need it.

Re:Glad the tor project has a solution. (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562779)

For now.

They might get pissed and finally draft a law that explicitly states all ISP subscribers will be monitored. Any attempt to circumvent this state process will be met with harsh penalties. There is to be no expectation of privacy. Any and all attempts to prevent root access to the accessing client will be viewed as in direct violation. As a precaution for your safety and to ensure innocence, all accessing client devices must have state sponsored monitoring agents running 24/7. Anyone found in direct violation will be sent for training and re-education at their financial expense.

Your support and understanding of this matter is not only important, but mandatory as well. Thank you.

Ya, right. That could never happen...

Re:Glad the tor project has a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39564847)

I believe Korea (South Korea) is an example of what happens when you universally mandate a piece of software. The mandatory software (known as the SEED plug-in) was intended to safeguard financial transactions. However, it was Windows-only and IE only (due to reliance on Active-X), and as a result South Korea today is almost completely dominated by Microsoft (to an even greater degree than other markets).

Re:Glad the tor project has a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39565367)

Makes the north look like a bastion of freedom from corporate dictatorship.

Re:Glad the tor project has a solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569591)

...Like to people in the UK.

*shrugs* (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39561613)

Perhaps they should implement some level of port knocking to the nodes.

Listen closely (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39562089)

We might soon need the information ourselves.

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