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Users Flock To Firewall-Busting Thesis Project

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the routing-around-injuries-to-the-internet dept.

The Internet 91

itwbennett writes "Daiyuu Nobori, a Ph.D. student at Japan's Tsukuba University designed 'VPN Gate' to help individuals in countries that restrict Internet use circumvent government firewalls. The service, which has drawn 77,000 users since its launch last Friday, encourages members of the public to set up VPN servers and offer free connections to individual users, aiming to make the technology more accessible. Nobori had originally planned to host the service on his university's servers, but they have been down recently so he switched it to the Windows Azure cloud platform. He has spent about US$9,000 keeping it up so far."

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91 comments

Windows Azure? (1)

ickleberry (864871) | about a year ago | (#43161591)

MS are probably providing it for free or half nothing to get their name stuck to such an interesting cool 'rebellious' project

Re:Windows Azure? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162279)

Maybe. And if they are, good for them.

Re:Windows Azure? (2)

MLCT (1148749) | about a year ago | (#43164863)

The same MS who collude with the Chinese government to enable monitoring of dissidents on skype?

Re:Windows Azure? (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year ago | (#43165831)

The same MS who collude with the Chinese government to enable monitoring of dissidents on skype?

You need to read The Sneetches -- Microsoft's just a company of "fix-it-up chappies." Note that both the US and China have stars upon thars :D

Public list of VPNs? (4, Insightful)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#43161615)

"His service maintains a public, real-time list of freely available VPN servers for users to choose from" - What's to stop a country (say Iran) from blacklisting the public list of VPNs?

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161661)

Nothing. The project would still be useful. Do you morons really have to find irrelevant issues with projects like this just to get your karma up?

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

Beavertank (1178717) | about a year ago | (#43161737)

How would the project still be useful? By updating with new, unblocked VPNs? Then Iran (or similar country) can block those, too. Assuming the country in question isn't bright enough to automate the process then there may be a window of usability, but even then it would be quite brief.

If you're so sure your comment is good, and only "morons" can complain about the topic, then why post AC?

Re:Public list of VPNs? (-1, Offtopic)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43161811)

He has no analytical skills. He's probably one of the type that reads i.e. The New Rational Manager [amazon.com] and goes "This is a waste of time and all bullshit and common sense can't believe morons fall for this scam" ... particularly, his comment directly claims that only morons use Potential Problem Analysis, abbreviated or otherwise.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161987)

Fuck you with your Amazon affiliate link. Your post is specifically designed to earn yourself money.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163305)

That's not an affiliate link. Unless he is one of the authors, he won't earn any money off it, and his post was hardly a glowing recommendation for the book, so he probably isn't one of the authors.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43167287)

This is a normal link you stupid fuck.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#43246921)

Fuck off dipshit, if you had any analytical skill you'd realize why the project is still useful, other people posted why.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43167359)

You're assuming every single country will block it or every single proxy on each list. In reality, for some people it might work, for others not, depending how they implement it and how each country implements their blocks (and maintains them).

Re:Public list of VPNs? (5, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43161769)

Yes it's called "Potential Problem Analysis" and it's what's done by people who actually know how to get things done and not find themselves falling down a hole with no idea what went wrong or how they're going to get out of it.

Let's try Tor:

Supply a list of Tor connection nodes at

Potential Problem Analysis: "What if China blocks those 4 IP addresses on their firewall?"

You: "Stop being morons, stuff like this is still useful." (6 months later) "Oh, shit. Well uh, start distributing updates. Oh, they're getting shot down too. Uh."

Intelligent people: "Hmm, that could be a problem. China probably will do that when they see the circumvention, so Likelihood is 'HIGH'. It'd be crippling, so Severity is 'HIGH'. We should make it part of the protocol to be able to trade information about the network, but not force synchronization of full information, that way the network won't have desync issues and it also will be harder to insert nodes on the network to quickly collect a list of all nodes and block them all."

Another Potential Problem, in this case, is that the VPNs are direct and traceable--the country may leave the list of VPNs accessible, track it, and track connections to those addresses. Then they know who the offenders are. In that case, this project would still be useful: Iran could find the Blasphemers, come to their house at night, and behead them.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#43162061)

Well written response. You have a very good point. That circumvention only works well in governments with a rather democratic judicial system where circumvention is not in itself a crime.

Re: Public list of VPNs? (1)

Pale Dot (2813911) | about a year ago | (#43168523)

Well written response. You have a very good point. That circumvention only works well in governments with a rather democratic judicial system where circumvention is not in itself a crime.

Ironically the system is likely to be more useful in Japan, which recently enacted one of the the toughest laws against online copyright infringement in the (relatively) free world, punishing even mere downloaders with jail time.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43165089)

I remember sitting down with a friend trying to come up with "distributed dynamic domain name servers" software. We certainly aren't experts in cryptography, and couldn't come up with a decent way to ensure security against spoofing. However, if you aren't too concerned with keeping it private, maybe you could just distribute the effort by way of freeware client modules.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43186723)

Your problem analysis forgot the part where every single country doesn't implement blocks the same way, which means you're pretty much certain it would work for someone out there, and thus why it is useful. Enjoy.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (3, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year ago | (#43161671)

Exactly. That is the whole problem with VPNs. They only work till they get popular.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161953)

I suppose in this case they'd have to be constantly scanning the list and updating the national firewall rules. It's a dynamic list of participants hosting VPN service.

My question is more Tor-like in nature... how do you prevent people from doing something illegal (in the host country, like the US) through your connection?

I'd be happy to let someone in China read and post from behind the great firewall, but I obviously don't want strangers sending death threats, looking at child porn, etc. through my home ISP connection. At least with Tor you can participate without being an exit node. As a VPN host, you are the exit node.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162739)

Feed them into a Tor entry node and let the Tor exit node folks deal with the issues?

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jonadab (583620) | about a year ago | (#43172495)

It's not difficult to get a list of IP ranges corresponding to China. Allow connections only from those addresses, and now only people in China (or people who have an account on a computer in China) can use your VPN to look at child porn through your connection.

If that's not good enough, you can do your own content filtering. If you only filter things that are illegal in your country, people in China can still use your VPN to look at things that are completely legal in most of the world but which the Great Firewall filters -- e.g., political speech. Content filtering is, of course, never going to be perfect. It's going to both have false positives and yet also occasionally let things through that it shouldn't, no matter what you do. But making the effort to have content filtering puts you on better ground, legally speaking, than if you didn't.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43161681)

What's to stop a country from declaring this an act of war? The information blocked is considered harmful as a matter of national security; the people trying to push circumvention software are illegally smuggling propaganda that damages national security. These people have some delusion about how "it's not an act of war because it supports human rights" (I had that argument a few times--as if marching into a country to free a brutally abused people is not an act of war either?); but the truth is that the government in China, Iran, and so on decide that certain information will compromise their government's stability if released to the public, and so that information must be kept from the people in the interest of national security. Propagating that information is thus an act on the government's stability, thus an attack, thus an act of war.

Inciting rebellion here.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

PoolOfThought (1492445) | about a year ago | (#43161971)

Use of the VPNs is not limited to people in a particular repressed country. A given repressed citizen in country C might be part of the intended audience should they want to use it, but it's not ONLY for them nor is it only for citizens of C. That is, it is not TARGETED. Acts of War are targeted. You don't commit an act of war at no one in particular. Invading a country (even to help the populace get out from under an "evil" dictator) may still be an act of war (probably is) - but running a VPN available to whomever is not.

If you're overly concerned about someone declaring something an "act of war" just because they don't like it then life's just going to be tough. There's always going to be some off his/her rocker leader that will claim that if you do X it is an act of war. And the whole rest of the world will be like, "yeah, yeah. Act of war... bla bla... only in your delusional mind". In that case it doesn't matter if crazy leader thinks of it as an "act of war" or not. It's just not even if they try to apply that label. It's at MOST a fart in their general direction, something disrespectful, but calling it an "act of war" doesn't make it one any more so than calling a comment you simply disagree with a "troll".

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#43162043)

Inciting rebellion is not an act of war. It is a hostile act but one that falls short of an act of war. Other than that your analysis holds up.

It might be stretch meet the definition of international terrorism, i.e. a government attempting to pressure another government into change of policy by threatening its hold on its territory. But armed bands are required for an actual act of war.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43162575)

Language is a funny thing. An "Act of War" would be anything that is an attack.

Let's try deconstructing this.

Country A engages in passive-aggressive, non-hostile circumvention activities that cause trouble for Country B. Country B views this a destabilizing: a perceived, potential, or real rebellion is occurring as an indirect cause, which is threatening to the national security of Country B.

Country B correlates the actions of Country A with the destabilizing results, and thus declares that Country B is eroding their national security. If Country A is now stopped--by intimidation or invasion--then Country B will regain stability, or so it is hoped; it is at least believed and potentially true that if Country A had been stopped sooner, Country B wouldn't be in this mess.

Country B is in a situation as bad as having an invading army march into their country. Their national security is compromised and they can trace their problems back to intentional actions of forces harbored and supported by Country A. Country B may interpret this as an act of war; Country A may dispute this, but does it matter? Country A is causing serious national security problems for Country B, triggering an internal rebellion, etc. Country A must be stopped, by force if necessary. Will we blame Country B for starting the war when they land troops in Country A?

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#43162661)

Sorry, that's not an attack. Yes it does matter. Yes we will blame B and not A if B starts a war because of an act of circumvention, Country B is the one who first initiated an act of War. A's actions are hostile but they are not acts of war. There is a difference between a hostile act and an act of war.

A is free to encouraged armed groups to attack B without it rising to an act of war.
A is free to even pay for armed groups to attack B without it rising to an act of war.
When A starts hosting armed groups attacking B then its an act of war.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43162843)

I'm free to go on MySpace and taunt 12 year old girls until they commit suicide, and it's not an act of murder. At a point in my life I got *quite* good at manipulating peoples' emotions to injure folks that pissed me off.. but that became distasteful. It'd be relatively easy to carry out an intentional serial murder spree that way, though. Not to mention it's been done.

No consequences because people are too stupid to recognize an attack for what it is when you wrap it up in a fancy sheet.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#43163193)

"A is free to even pay for armed groups to attack B without it rising to an act of war."

I was agreeing with you, until that sentence. Sorry, if I'm paying someone to invade someone's country, then that really is an "act of war". If/when that country learns what I'm doing, and if they have the capability, I fully expect that country to come after me. Actually paying armed forces to attack someone rises well above mere "aiding and abetting". Offering those forces humanitarian assistance might cross that line, as well.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#43167379)

That's why I used that example. It has been tried. No it is not an act of war. The criteria is strict.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

ethorad (840881) | about a year ago | (#43170227)

I assumed that essentially paying a group of mercenaries or contractors to invade someone without using your own formal government troops would still be considered an act of war. Otherwise why not rename the army to the "Army plc" and claim that although they do tend to do a lot of contract work for the government they are an independant company. So sorry that they decided to invade your country but it's not an act of war so feel free to try and sue them in the US courts - good luck.

Do you have a reference for your example? You imply that some case examples exist.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#43174877)

Well the difference is that an army needs a base of operations. A group of contractors based in America is still an American army. A group of contractors funded by American based in Argentina is an Argentinian army.

If you want an example US v. Nicaragua. The USA argued we could attack Nicaragua because they were funding rebels.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

ethorad (840881) | about a year ago | (#43176973)

I would be surprised if a group of contractors funded and directed by American sources but who happen to live in Argentina would be classed as Argentinian, but then I'm not a lawyer and there's lots about the law that surprises me. One example would be Hezbollah - they are based in Lebanon but believed to be funded by Iran, and so what they do is often considered to be done by Iran not by Lebanon.

With the US v Nicaragua point, I've never really known much about what went on with Reagan and the Contras, but from having a look on Wikipedia it seems that:

- If you mean the US attack on Nicaragua, that was based on the US's unilateral opinion rather than an agreed international opinion. As such I wouldn't count that as a widely held agreement on what counts as an act of war
- If you mean the ICJ decision on the aftermath of the US attacks I would agree that it is at least a consensus decision on what acts are considered valid
- From the ICJ decision:
- Nicaragua supplying arms to El Salvador opposition does not constitute an armed attack (and thus I guess would not be an act of war). This seems in line with your suggestion that financing someone in a foreign country doesn't make them your army, the army belongs to the country in which they live not the country which supplies them.
- However it also suggests that the US arming, financing and training the contra groups intervened in the sovereignty of another state, and through various attacks the US was considered to have used force against another state. While not an act of war it seems in that direction which is the other way round to the findings in the Nicaragua v El Salvador point above - although the contras were based in Nicaragua since they were US funded, they are considered to be US?

I guess there are particular circumstances with each of the two above, ie perhaps the US attacks on Nicaragua were much more clearly linked to the US government. Also there's a lot of different actions ("act of war", "armed attack", "intervene in sovereignty", "used force" - what do they all mean?). I have some more reading to do it seems!

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year ago | (#43177443)

OK good, you get the point that act of war is stronger.

In the case of Hezbollah the claim of the Lebanon is that the Lebanese army is weaker than Hezbollah. That is Lebanon is not the sovereign agent over South Lebanon / Hezbollah territory. Since Hezbollah does not answer to the Lebanese government that territory is now either:

a) Under the control of a rebel army group
b) Occupied territory.

Since Hezbollah does answer to Syria / Iran technically the world treats Southern Lebanon as occupied territory. Lebanon's inability to handle that territory helps. Everyone agrees that Hezbollah would kick the Lebanese army's butt.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

ethorad (840881) | about a year ago | (#43180153)

Thanks for the information. I don't have mod points at the moment (and couldn't mod in here now anyway) but have an informal +1 informative from me anyway :)

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#43162421)

Only cowards attempt to use censorship.

People / Groups / Countries / etc., that hold onto archaic thinking should be named and shamed for their stupidity.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year ago | (#43163901)

Making a VPN or something like tor available is not an act of war because its passive. Its the people using the VPN to violate their countries laws that are breaking laws. Is Colt manufacturing guns an act of war against China? No obviously but say furnishing them along with a full range of modern navy equipment to Tiwan at rock bottom prices might be; except no even that is not so interpreted in that way.

I don't see to many nations declaring Voice of America and act of war either even though that is ostensibly a US Government propaganda machine; deliberately broadcasting into territories controlled by unfriendly (in many cases) nations.

Finally so what if it is an act of war. Some wars should be fought and if we can win them with websites, flyers, and radio; I'd much rater do it that way than with guns, drones, and boots.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#43169981)

Invasions have happened over passive acts such as manufacturing guns in a neighboring country that just happen to get across the border because rebels in that country cross the border, get guns, and come back. Hey I'm not selling guns to your country, it's your own people breaking the law...

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161727)

Nothing, and they probably already do that or will if it got popular enough. AFAIK Iran, China etc block public VPNs/Tor relays etc.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161939)

That is "the nature of the beast". Technically-inclined folks such as ourselves like nice permanent solutions using clever tech.

But we have powerful state actors with almost limitless resources (China etc) who will eventually find you and block you. The solution? New VPNs, new ideas and solutions - it is an internet arms race that will never be won.

Thank you Daiyuu Nobori for your contribution to fighting censorship and helping the less powerful - although your solution may neither be perfect nor permanent, you are doing a great deal of good.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

Colan (2771285) | about a year ago | (#43161999)

Since the list of VPN servers would be changing, at least to some degree, it seems that the blacklist would have to be constantly adjusting to keep up with the service.

Re: Public list of VPNs? (2)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year ago | (#43162181)

So, what, they don't have the technology to write a three line bash script and a cron job to run it every half hour?

Re:Public list of VPNs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162027)

What's to stop a bunch of spoiled American children from using the entirety of the service for downloading torrents? There's just not enough bandwidth to share with a bunch of digital hoarders with caviar (as in HD) tastes. More VPNs merely means more users share this awesome idea with their friends.

There are also tech savvy trolls and spammers that will make sure the entire list will be blacklisted for nearly every country, repressive regime or not. If it's not an official government decree it will surely come from the private sector in any country trying to protect themselves.

Google, reddit, Facebook, countless forums, and even yahoo will block you or possibly lock your account just for using the ip.

Those things have made Tor use a frustrating experience. I feel like a leper.

Re:Public list of VPNs? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43162425)

Reposting. The list of VPNs can be sent via email, IM, public forums, be spammed in comments on popular sites*, read over the telephone, or passed on paper between friends. Updates spread in a similar way. Censors would be hard-pressed to keep up. It could be done, but it'd be expensive and the need for haste would inevitably lead to mistakes which could block legitimate sites and inspire public dislike of the censor system.

*Irony points if state-sponsored media.

So... (4, Insightful)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year ago | (#43161691)

(a) we already have TOR and other services
(b) this guy makes a nice, handy list of server IPs for oppressive governments to block.
(c) I doubt he will come to your aid when folks use your connection for [piracy|drug deals|child porn|planning a terrorist attack].

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | about a year ago | (#43161755)

Yeah, this is pretty insane. Tor already does this FAR MORE SAFE. Not only does it give governments a nice list of server IPs, it gives governments a nice way to catch offenders.

Re:So... (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43161801)

Apparently they give out PhD's for reinventing the wheel. In that case, my PhD Thesis will involve flying a kite during a lightening storm.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161833)

Shop tire rack some day. Wheels are constantly "reinvented".

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161883)

Apparently they give out PhD's for reinventing the wheel. In that case, my PhD Thesis will involve flying a kite during a lightening storm.

Try and find a way to do it on a computer and you can patent it too!

Re:So... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161967)

Responses to your points as follows:
(a) Yes, this is just another alternative.
(b) Tor publishes their exit and entry node lists, and the bridge nodes are obviously discoverable. How is this any different?
(c) Neither will Tor, but they do have a handy paper you can give to the police which explains that you were sharing your uplink. Perhaps a VPN provider would help?

Re:So... (2)

griffjon (14945) | about a year ago | (#43163663)

b) Exit nodes don't matter for blocking purposes. Bridge nodes are discoverable, but Tor has made them difficult to discover the complete set, https://bridges.torproject.org/ [torproject.org] (or, since that'll be blocked in most useful places, emailing bridges@torproject.org with the "get bridges" in the body) only gives out a few at a time with a captcha requirement, and only sends to https-enabled webmail hosts.

Tor also has an unknown number of private bridges people run and disseminate through their own channels to friends and family and so on. This, plus obfsproxy and related tricks like the flashproxy work from Stanford, make it really really difficult to discover and block enough bridges into the network.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162051)

Indeed. Ripping off established projects in the name of humanitarianism, and calling it "inventive" is apparently worthy of a Ph.D. these days.

Actually, that's probably the way it's always been, if the doctorates I've met are any indication.

Re:So... (1)

griffjon (14945) | about a year ago | (#43163549)

...and Tor provides much higher privacy for the user, with related tools like leave-no-trace bootable-thumbdrives (TAILS) , and is much, much harder to block than a VPN (Iran just this week decided to restrict all VPN traffic).

Also, basing this off of Windows means that rapidly throwing up new servers is a bit more cost-prohibitive and licensing-restricted than flipping on an Amazon EC2 tor image (not using your free ec2 slot? go here: https://cloud.torproject.org/ [torproject.org] ) , or hosting a tor server on a cheap VPS.

I value the guy's intentions, but question his supervisors approval of his field assessment sections.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43169279)

This a billion times.

Holy hell this is such an awful idea. It is like they don't even understand how the internet works.
At least with Tor you can jump around exit nodes, and your SOURCE location isn't known unless there are at least half of nodes traversed owned by a spy agency, which could happen. (we have already seen those botnets before that turn people in to proxies and spies, and that was an amateur attempt at that)
This public list will just need to be rescanned every so often and there goes the entire projects point, enjoy the depths of the blacklist.

Not to mention the damn expense. No, just no.
Unless he inherited a brazillion dollars recently from wealthy relations, this project is going to die horribly.

$9000 in the hole (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43161697)

He needs help, because he can't operate that for a loss indefinitely. This is where a currency like Bitcoin can actually be very useful, to make payments across borders without having to go through any official banking methods. He should be able to collect some money from his operations and people who will find his services useful will pay some amount to help him keep it up.

Re:$9000 in the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161761)

Or you could use, you know, normal money.

Re:$9000 in the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161831)

Works for Wikileaks

Re:$9000 in the hole (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43162297)

Genious! And really his VPN clients should just save the money and use the Internet like everybody else does, because you know, they can.

Re:$9000 in the hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161841)

What we need is some help from the public sector. Tsukuba University should be eligible for a grant from the Japanese Government for participating in such a worthwhile project. Once we get some public money involved, projects like this can really take off.

Re:$9000 in the hole (1)

ronpaulisanidiot (2529418) | about a year ago | (#43161867)

This is where a currency like Bitcoin can actually be very useful, to make payments across borders without having to go through any official banking methods.

Sure, because obviously anyone doing something like this must be another member of your church, where the dollar is neither accepted for donation nor recognized as valid currency. Hence the need for bitcoin payments instead, right?

After all, you said 10 years ago that the US Dollar would fail completely within 2 years, and it certainly did fail 8 years ago. Just like everyone else I now have a wallet full of Ron Paullors instead. I'm so glad that your lord and savior warned us in time!

Think of the Canadians (4, Funny)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#43161799)

What *I* want to know is when someone is going to implement a system to help we poor Canadians freely access Hulu and US-Netflix. The pain of being unable to view SNL archive clips is unimaginable to the average American.

Re:Think of the Canadians (2)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year ago | (#43161909)

What *I* want to know is when someone is going to implement a system to help we poor Canadians freely access Hulu and US-Netflix. The pain of being unable to view SNL archive clips is unimaginable to the average American.

Are you really that cheap? Really? It only costs 5 bucks per month to "unblock" "us" content. That will give you access to US-Netflix and Hulu. I access both US Netflix and Hulu Plus from Canada. If you want to access Hulu Plus, just use your Canadian (non-prepaid) credit card to sign up but take the DIGIT portion of our postal code and then add additional digits (try zeros) until it becomes a valid ZIP, then find the city and state that zip corresponds to and enter that in as your billing address city and state. You can keep your street address the same as your real billing address.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162145)

That doesn't work when they're using IP block look ups to limit access, even if you have a valid US paid account. The only solution is about $20/month proxy service. The free ones rarely work and certainly can't cope with video bandwidth requirements. There are many commercial solutions if you have the money.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162505)

Or, you could just skip this season of "People Yelling at Each Other" on Netflix and go do something productive.

Re:Think of the Canadians (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about a year ago | (#43162915)

That doesn't work when they're using IP block look ups to limit access, even if you have a valid US paid account.

No....but the services mentioned must not do that as it does work. I use unblock-us daily and it works perfectly with Hulu and Netflix US.

Re:Think of the Canadians (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43162441)

Beverly Hills, 90210. It's not just the name of a show, but a real city and zip. And if you can't guess the state, well, you probably don't deserve it!

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163353)

Are you really that cheap? Really? It only costs 5 bucks per month to "unblock" "us" content. That will give you access to US-Netflix and Hulu. I access both US Netflix and Hulu Plus from Canada. If you want to access Hulu Plus, just use your Canadian (non-prepaid) credit card to sign up but take the DIGIT portion of our postal code and then add additional digits (try zeros) until it becomes a valid ZIP, then find the city and state that zip corresponds to and enter that in as your billing address city and state. You can keep your street address the same as your real billing address.

Rogers and other Canadian ISP's will suspend your service if they detect you are using a VPN. Read the small print. I've had several friends get their internet shut off for this exact thing.

Re:Think of the Canadians (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year ago | (#43167943)

Are you really that cheap? Really? It only costs 5 bucks per month to "unblock" "us" content. That will give you access to US-Netflix and Hulu. I access both US Netflix and Hulu Plus from Canada. If you want to access Hulu Plus, just use your Canadian (non-prepaid) credit card to sign up but take the DIGIT portion of our postal code and then add additional digits (try zeros) until it becomes a valid ZIP, then find the city and state that zip corresponds to and enter that in as your billing address city and state. You can keep your street address the same as your real billing address.

Rogers and other Canadian ISP's will suspend your service if they detect you are using a VPN. Read the small print. I've had several friends get their internet shut off for this exact thing.

It is not a VPN. They provide a DNS server. But I have to call bullshit on your "story" about your friends. Working from home would be cut off all the time for using VPNs. Seriously, your story is bullshit.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161913)

Move to the border - some place like Windsor [goo.gl], then buy a cheap US foreclosure.
Sign up for Cable at the US address. Send the signal back via cantenna.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162243)

How utterly ridiculous! Use a proxy service.

Re:Think of the Canadians (1)

jhobbs (659809) | about a year ago | (#43162009)

Think of the who?

No thank you, I prefer to be much more ethnocentric than that. I mean, they say 'aboot'. Its like they are from another country or something.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162359)

A service set up to combat oppression and censorship with the original goal of spreading humanitarianism and freedom to the world is repurposed to deliver entertainment to the middle class in first world nations.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162363)

Just pirate it. It's obviously your only choice as long as these services (or rather the rightsholders) don't realize that that's WHY people pirate stuff.

Re:Think of the Canadians (1)

motd2k (1675286) | about a year ago | (#43162497)

Overplay.net SmartDNS handles this for $5/month, letting you easily switch between all the different Netflix locales at will. I don't think many people use traditional proxies/VPN for netflix anymore.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43162923)

Really? Have you even tried looking for a solution? Because there are lots...

Tunlr
Hola unblocker
proxydns

just to name three free ones. There are plenty of pay services as well.

Re:Think of the Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43163787)

Mediahint is likely what you're looking for. It's free, too.

Academics have shared access for a long time (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#43161825)

This isn't particularly new in academia. People from various universities have often shared access in order to grant their colleagues access to journals that their less-well-funded institutions did not have.

This is a marketing gimmick; it doesn't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161891)

This might help people access commercial entertainment services like Netflix in countries Netflix doesn't serve or won't serve some content to. That might be a good thing although its not the same thing that Tor does. It also should not be portrayed that way. It is rebellious to thwart censorship, etc. in countries which are less hostile in some areas to speech.

$9000! Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43161925)

Why in the hell has this cost $9000?

Re:$9000! Really? (3, Insightful)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#43162029)

Because if you don't spend up all the money budgeted to your department, you can't apply to get more next year?

Sigh, I know I wasn't this cynical back in my 20's...

God damn that expensive (4, Interesting)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#43161931)

Wait, 77,000 / 9000 = 8 people per dollar spent? 9000 and only launched last Friday? How much does Azure cost to operate? Throw together a cheap php site or something for $20 a month.

Good, still not enough. (3, Interesting)

Corwn of Amber (802933) | about a year ago | (#43163063)

Yeah, so, one more sort-of-TOR, but with fixed servers in easy-to-raid locations.

They don't get it.

There is ONE way to make a REALLY resilient network. It's been proven over and over.

NO. CENTRAL. COMMAND.
MESH EVERYTHING.
ROUTE ERRYTHING BY DHTs.
ALL NODES EQUAL PEERS. With the same capabilities. All nodes are routers. All nodes are relays. All nodes are bridges. All nodes are cell towers. Until we get rid of telcos/ISPs, all nodes are gateways, too.

Like TOR, but if everyone were a bridge and an exit relay and a cell tower.

THAT is unstoppable. Else there WILL be censorship and control and criminalization and destroyed lives like Aaron Swartz's.

Re:Good, still not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43177491)

"... There is ONE way to make a REALLY resilient network... It's been proven over and over ... ROUTE ERRYTHING BY DHTs. ..."

And those are?

Amazon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43164987)

Sounds like a perfect fit for AWS - provided that Amazon could contribute some resource to it... Lite a few dozen aws instances that could handle this load? Amazon, do you have any comments?

Already blocked in China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43166953)

Well, that didn't take long. The client download is already blocked in China. I can access the website though, so the VPN server list is still available, for now. Every time they block a VPN, new servers and IPs are available immediately. We will always find a way...

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