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Canadians To Douse Chinese Firewall

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the take-that-eh dept.

Censorship 342

FrenchyinOntario writes "Researchers at a University of Toronto lab are getting ready to release a computer program called Psiphon, which will allow Internet users in free countries to help users in more restrictive countries (like China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc.) to access the Internet by getting past the firewalls and getting around "rubber hose cryptoanalysis" which is a drawback of other anti-firewall programs as it reveals a user's tracks if discovered by authorities. Operating through port 443, Psiphon will allow users in monitoring countries the ability to send an encrypted request for certain information, and for users in secure countries to send it back to them. The UofT's Citizen Lab hopes to debut Psiphon at the international congress of the free speech group PEN in May."

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342 comments

subject (-1, Offtopic)

eternal_drake (953628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730013)

gnaa first post

Re:subject (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730287)

That shall help those poor USiAns fatties that are so ignorant of their own mistakes [alchahed.net].

Does this include free speech for the HOLOHOAX?!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730312)

How about not being thrown in jail or murdered for questioning the holohoax (Holocaust as it is known in to ignorant people.)

Everywhere, people would be pleased to research, evidence, look at past attrocities. Heck the Nanjing masacre would be great if more eyes, ears, evidence are collected......... ....... but this is not the case with the Holohoax Industry (aka swindle).

The truth never needed courts, gestapos, and threats to enforce. Only those who resort to lies and extortion need to resort to such tactics.

Will Slashdot SENSOR^^^^^^BEEP this, again???

whatreallyhappened.com

A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (4, Insightful)

Leknor (224175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730018)

How is this better than Tor: http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org] or just an HTTP Proxy that supports CONNECT for SSL traffic?

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (2)

Hack Jandy (781503) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730049)

Wow no kidding. Support The onion router. There is no need to fragment support for these projects when excellent ones are already in place.

HJ

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (3, Interesting)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730050)

This sounds like it is a rewriting proxy - you request a page, say www.yahoo.com by using the URL:

https://psiphonat.myfriend.com/http://www.yahoo.co m/ [myfriend.com]

and then proxy re-writes all URLs in the document to be of that same form so that clicks will automagically go through the psiphon proxy.

How is this better than Tor: http://tor.eff.org/ [eff.org]

I would tell you, but my corporate firewall won't allow access to that website.

or just an HTTP Proxy that supports CONNECT for SSL traffic?

Because people may be forced to use a proxy just to get outside of the firewall. You can't chain proxies, at least not with normal web browsers.

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (1)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730101)

I would tell you, but my corporate firewall won't allow access to that website.

What does that have to do with anything, your company will probably block myfriend.com soon, but they havn't because it's new.

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730159)

What does that have to do with anything,

It is a joke. It is true, but still funny.

your company will probably block myfriend.com soon, but they havn't because it's new.

They won't block it if only one person uses it, traffic is too small to get noticed. Plus, if myfriend.com is on DSL or some other ISP that DHCP's a new IP regularly, then it is effectively unblockable.

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730221)

DNS requests aren't hard. And when they see its dynamic, they'll just block the whole subnet.

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (2, Insightful)

wwwrench (464274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730056)

Actually, it seems worse than tor. As far as I know, with tor, you don't have to trust a specific machine -- you just need to trust that most of the machines that are acting as onion routers are legit. By the sound of this system, you are linking with a specific machine, and there is nothing to stop the Chinese embassy in Canada from pretending to be a trusted server...

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (2, Informative)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730076)

As far as I know, with tor, you don't have to trust a specific machine

They claim it is a feature - that you have to have a relationship - like an immigrated family member - with the owner of the system. That should reduce abusive uses to about zero, which should make it a lot more palatable for regular people to run, and a lot simpler, than an onion router system.

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (2, Insightful)

TwilightXaos (860408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730325)

And how might you aquire this relationship? thorugh e-mail, which china moniters; through the postal mail, which I am sure the Chinese government could moniter well enough. I don't see how you would gain a relationship when the chinese government can moniter and disrupt messages that would lead to that relationship.

Re:A HTTP Proxy with SSL? (5, Interesting)

Phleg (523632) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730169)

I could be wrong, but in a case like this, the Tor system might actually be worse; normal Tor operation says that you only have to trust that most of the nodes are legit onion routers. However, in the case of China, I believe that you need to trust that the first node is legit. Why? Because if that first node is the Chinese embassy or another node owned by China, and your IP is coming from a Chinese netblock, then your secrecy is blown.

At least with this system, you're encouraged to form a relationship of trust with the node you're communicating with.

Answer: It's not! (1)

Afecks (899057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730152)

Tor has so much more going for it.

Open source.
Allows hidden services.
Supports any protocol using TCP/IP.
Perfect forward secrecy.

And lots of other stuff that I won't even go on about. A one hop proxy is just a bad idea for being anonymous. Tor is a much better answer.

If you've never heard of Tor then go read up on it at Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

People still care (4, Insightful)

daddyrief (910385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730021)

It's good to see that human kindness hasn't been completely lost in the internet age.

Re:People still care (1)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730080)

It's also disturbing to see human naievete is still around in spades.

Giving strangers access to your computer in any form is a stupid idea. If you thought the fallout was bad when that admin had installed SETI@Home on some computers at his office, just wait until the first story of a network admin running this program on company resources.

Re:People still care (1)

dmitrygr (736758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730215)

I would like to disagree. In fact we are doing a great disservice to those people, as if they get caught (and eventually some will), they will suffer much. In making this available we are encouraging law-breaking and pushing these people into trouble. Undermining government authority has its limits. This is, in my oppinion, beyond them.

Re:People still care (1)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730260)

God forbid we'd let the woman in China decide for herself whether she wants to break the law in this way.

Re:People still care (2, Interesting)

daddyrief (910385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730330)

I know if I was in a Chinese citizen's position, I'd love if 'real' information was made available, lawful or not. By simply allowing them choices, we are 'helping them help themselves.' There will always be obedient sheep...but there will also be individuals who want to break free. If some get caught, it sends the government a small message; if those that get caught also encourage others to rebel, the ripple effect could (and I do emphasize could) make a splash. The (open) Internet is a much better place to shout your message than Tianamen Square. ...And who cares if you're breaking the law, if the law is wrong?

Makes me glad to live above the 49th Parallel (0, Flamebait)

AnimeFreak (223792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730022)

Don't worry, once the Conserv...Allia...Reform Party is out, all will be good again up here.

be thankful that the US is below the 49th Parallel (-1, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730204)

the only reason Canada can get away with this is the US and the protection we provide.

without US influence, Canada wouldn't mean shit to anyone.

_j

ps...I don't hate Canada, just overzealously nationalistic Canadians who like to make themselves feel better by saying everything below the 49th paralell sucks.

for how long (0)

wesw02 (846056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730026)

This will probably work for the first week or so. Until the communists wise up and lock it down, not allowing encryption at all, or blocking sites that have high encryption traffic.

Canada... (-1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730029)

Canada, you're hypocrisy [crtc.gc.ca] is showing.


(I'm Canadian, but not always proud of it.)

Re:Canada... (4, Informative)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730066)

Except that the CRTC has nothing to do with what I can and can't view on the 'net.

Re:Canada... (2, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730240)

I believe the point he is trying to make is that the CRTC still does regulate content, which is of course a form of censorship.

I recall hearing from Canadian relatives that the CRTC at one time failed to renew the license of a particular radio station because of "offensive" behavior of some of the station's jockeys.

I also remember hearing about how they approved Al Jazeera, but requested that instances of "hate speech" had to be edited out by broadcasters.

Between "hate speech" legislation (itself a very anti-democratic and anti-freedom of expression principle) and the CRTC, we see that the Canadian government does partake in the censorship of various media. The censorship is still prevalent, even if the Internet is not yet particularly affected.

Re:Canada... (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730247)

I wouldn't be too sure about that. At least they would probably disagree. [crtc.gc.ca]
The CRTC is vested with the authority to regulate and supervise all aspects of the Canadian broadcasting system, as well as to regulate telecommunications common carriers and service providers that fall under federal jurisdiction. The CRTC derives its regulatory authority over broadcasting from the Broadcasting Act (S.C. 1991, c. 11, as amended). Its telecommunications regulatory powers are derived from the Telecommunications Act (S.C. 1993, c. 38, as amended) and the Bell Canada Act (S.C. 1987, c.19 as amended).

Re:Canada... (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730286)

Not to mention the fact that the CRTC is government run, whereas the UofT is rather not.

So, how is the CRTC's actions relevant to this discussion again?

Re:Canada... (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730164)

A "free country" isn't a country where there are no laws. It's a country where the laws approximate the collective will of the people, and not just of a few at the top.

The US keeps making laws I have problems with, like the Patriot Act, but then I see the polls which show that most people support them.

Re:Canada... (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730248)

Freedom has little to do with popular support. It's one of the few things in the world where there is no grey zone. Either you have freedom, or you do not. Even the censorship of a single word means that you are not truly free to say that word. Hence you do not have true freedom of expression, even if you can say every other word in existence.

Re:Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730193)

You're not a very bright Canadian, are you?

Re:Canada... (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730293)

What on Earth does the CRTC (and by indirect reference, Cancon) have to do with mass censorship of Internet sites in China?

OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730032)

Let's see...

access-list 443 deny ip any any

Next?

Reaction? (5, Insightful)

Sneetch (953357) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730034)

While it makes me feel good to hear about this... won't the censoring nations have something to say about an organized and publicised effort to help their citizens break the law?

Re:Reaction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730082)

Do we really care what they have to say on the subject?

Reaction?-DTV. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730083)

"While it makes me feel good to hear about this... won't the censoring nations have something to say about an organized and publicised effort to help their citizens break the law?"

That reminds me. How's that DirectTV working for you guys?

Yes they willl. But there is hope. (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730104)

Yeah. Such actions would be probably called "terrorist acts" or something like that.

All China has to do is to only allow outgoing SSL connections to a hand-picked "whitelist" of servers... (e.g. well-known companies). They probably won't bother until enough people start breaching the firewall.

Of course, then the next untapped way to securely send information would be to embed it in audio CDS. Audio CDS store (digitally) 16-bit audio. But the low 8-bits are pretty much inaudible. Data could easily be encoded there, which would mean 300-400MB of data and still a full 70+minutes of high-quality music on a pure *audio* CD. Compressed/encrypted data won't have much self-correlation -- and neither do the low few bits of images/audio acquired from the real world. Even more sophisticated schemes exist that and would be even much more stealhly.

Re:Reaction? (1)

rpj1288 (698823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730186)

It's a private group. The Canadian government can claim they don't have the power to interfere.

Re:Reaction? (5, Funny)

fishmonkey (301785) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730244)

While it makes me feel good to hear about this... won't the censoring nations have something to say about an organized and publicised effort to help their citizens break the law?

fuck them

Re:Reaction? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730269)

Seriously, what are they going to do? It's like the **AA trying to shut down thepiratebay - as much as they'd like to think so, they have absolutely no jurisdiction outside of the United States. Likewise, the most China would be able to do is punish their own citizens if they're caught (and with well over a billion, I think the odds would be in your favor); they can't do a darned thing about not liking what Canada is up to. Well, no legal action anyways, I'm sure they could start an embargo or some other act that would equate to econo-terrorism.

In other news, port 443 is added to the blacklist on the Great Firewall of China. Many think port 80 is next up.

Censorship (4, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730042)

Wasn't there talk sometime back about the US government directly providing means for people living in censorship-ridden nations to bypass their national firewalls? Whatever became of that?

Private initiatives like this are cool and all (and have proven very effective in the past), but it would be nice to see our governments taking a much stronger stand regarding free-speech. Free speech is the absolute foundation of democracy and freedom.

Re:Censorship (0, Offtopic)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730071)

'Free speech' in the USA takes place in well regulated 'free speech zones', conveniently located miles from the event or person that is being spoken about. This is not real free speach, but the end product of decades spent fetishizing the rights supposedly enshrined in the Constitution, all the while forgetting that the right to speak freely is only meaningful if it is excercised. Free speach in the USA is a joke, a sick reminder of the wool labelled 'democracy' that has been pulled over the citizens'/consumers'/cattle's eyes. And then the sheep look up...

Re:Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730219)

You sound like you are 19.

Re:Censorship (0, Offtopic)

xero314 (722674) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730262)

The US government, and all world governments for that matter, should spend a little more time focusing on their own country and leave things like this alone. Psuedo Republic politics are not the only way to succesfully run a country. Absoulte freedom, or anarchy, is only one of the viable approaches to national survival and citizens comfort. Allow the natural ebb and flow of proletariat/peseant revolt handle these things. If there are true autrocities like government sponsored slavery or molestation of inoccents then we should spend some time and effort on it. But circumventing the laws of another country just because they can't read web sites that defame their government or have access to the latest porn is just not what good governments should be doing. The kind of governmental intrusion you are calling for is why the US is so hated east of the mediteranian.

Re:Censorship (1)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730266)

Are you trying to tell me it's not the two-party system that's the absolute foundation of democracy and freedom?

Re:Censorship (4, Insightful)

0-9a-f (445046) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730328)

An interesting op-ed piece [timesonline.co.uk] I read today suggested that this is a war between Freedom and Fundamentalism. As we are seeing with the current Congressional Hearing involving Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc, Capitalism doesn't much care either way for Freedom or Fundamentalism, but is calculated solely on risk and reward - even if you purport to "do no evil". To look at Western politics around the world, and more topically the effects of those Danish cartoons which are not being published, most people don't have much of an opinion here either.

As has been said here previously, free speech only continues to exist when people exercise it. There is much uninformed opinion in the world, and even our leaders are increasingly elected on the basis of limited amounts of tightly controlled information. Does this lead us closer to Freedom and Democracy?

The Fundamentalist has a narrow agenda, is easily inflamed, readily invokes fear to reinforce their message, and has little respect for all who disagree. Those who favour Freedom will always suffer at the hands of Fundamentalists - Freedom is Fundamentalism's single worst enemy, and the uninformed Free will happily trade minor freedoms for any illusion of security against perceived threats. Against this slow but steady onslaught, Freedom's only weapon is exercising available freedoms - even to risk one's own life if necessary.

While it is the duty of the Free to selflessly attempt to liberate the oppressed, Capitalism guides us to minimise risk now and build short-term rewards. In the face of rising global Fundamentalism (whether Christian or Muslim, Capitalist or Socialist), Freedom dies by a thousand cuts.

It will do us all good to see more fearless initiatives like this one from Canada.

Sure (1)

garrett714 (841216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730069)

which will allow Internet users in free countries to help users in more restrictive countries (like China

Yeah, because I really want to help all those people in China I've been getting constant portscans from.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730075)

In related Faux news, a group of freedom loving internet users has been hauled off to Guantanamo after alledgely helping terrorists to relay funding and attack planning information using a tool designed to hide evil communications from your all loving government. That'll teach em

Opressive Country to-do list (3, Insightful)

patrickclay (898576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730081)

1. Block activity on port 443
2. Opress

Re:Opressive Country to-do list (5, Informative)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730133)

An elegant wrinkle is that the data will enter users' machines through computer port 443. Relied on for the secure transfer of data, this port is the one through whichreams of financial data stream constantly around the world.

"Unless a country wanted to cut off all connections for any financial transactions they wouldn't be able to cut off these transmissions," said Professor Ronald Deibert, the director of Citizen Lab.


rtfa kthnx

Re:Opressive Country to-do list (1)

raylu (914970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730246)

That may be true but many countries who are "oppressive" may not really care about financial transactions through the internet.

Unlikely to have much impact in practice (4, Insightful)

JakartaDean (834076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730087)

Let's see. While the Chinese are unlikely to block port 443, they could monitor sites for which the percentage of 443 vs. port 80 https requests exceeds a reasonable threshhold.

But, it seems that I need to communicate with someone in China first, and offer my computer up to them, and then we both need to install something on our computers, and I give him a userid and password.

Isn't this just too clunky to work?

Re:Unlikely to have much impact in practice (4, Funny)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730145)


But, it seems that I need to communicate with someone in China first,


First you log into World of Warcraft...

Re:Unlikely to have much impact in practice (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730195)

ok but there's no real reason not to put ssl traffic on port 80. Other than convention I mean.

Re:Unlikely to have much impact in practice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730210)

I am talking to somebody in China, and say, "Check out this website," only to hear, "I can't access it." "Ok, here just, use this..."

Uh, block the port? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730095)

What would stop the government of say, China or N. Korea from simply blocking port 443? I mean, it's no secret what port this uses. I'm sure Kim Jung Il reads SlashDot.

What the difference with a proxy over SSL ? (1)

javaDragon (187973) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730109)

If I set up a proxy accessible through SSL, with user authentication, isn't it equivalent ?

Re:What the difference with a proxy over SSL ? (1)

raylu (914970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730267)

And how do you expect the "oppressed" to find you?

use spammers techniques (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730318)

Send them pro freedom political spam? No one has come up with an effective method to completely beat spam yet, so how about using it for some good instead of knock off rolexes and viagra? It also gives the recipient plausible deniability, they just got spammed, it's not their fault.

neat tech, but... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730119)

There will always be ways for dedicated and savy people to get through firewalls for purposes such as this. However, on the large scale, it does little to affect the access to censored information by the public in general.

Canada Fears China (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730122)

China is gaining terrain as commercial ally to the US. Dissing on the Chinese and trying to devide and conquer is quite lame from them.

Instead of fighting for others rights, Canadians should take care of their own problems, which are a L O T:

Racism.
Illegal migration to the US.
Poverty.
Drug and Alcohol abuse.
and so on.

Re:Canada Fears China (1)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730180)

devide is spelled as divide...

Just thought you might like the reference...

Paul B.

Young whipper snappers. (5, Funny)

coopaq (601975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730130)

All your wires and doohickies!

Back in my day if we wanted freedom we had to shoot someone in the face. Twice.

Now sometimes we do it for fun. -DC

Re:Young whipper snappers. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730200)

Cheney? Is that you?

Serious Responsibility (4, Interesting)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730138)

A drawback to Psiphon is that the person behind the firewall has to be given a user name and password by the person offering up the computer. With this kind of setup, Mr. Villeneuve said, activists may end up working with specific dissidents and people in repressive countries may rely on relatives abroad to help them get connected. Canadians, with ties to every country in the world, are in a particularly good position to use such a system.

So what happens if the person who you gave access to does something illegal (child porn for example)? Does the host become responsible, legally and/or morally? Unlike a general, open, free for all access, this individual approach appears to shift more of the responsibility onto the host, who may not be in a good position to make such a judgment. The program apparently has some facilities for doing forensics on the traffic, which then shift even more of the responsibility onto the host. I guess when you're trying to fight a repressive regime, you should be prepared to take on some heavy responsibilities. Kudos to those who are willing to do so.

Re:Serious Responsibility (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730185)

So what happens if the person who you gave access to does something illegal (child porn for example)?

If the person is in china and attempting to access information that has been censored by the chinese government it doesn't matter if it's kiddie porn or pictures of last year's freedom rally, that person is already breaking the law.

You either accept that censorship of speech is tantamount to enforcement of thought crimes - and resist such tyranny in all its forms even when it offends your delicate western christofeminazi mindset, or you don't really believe in individual liberty at all. If you run an open proxy like this, then you accept that mindset and are prepared to defend yourself if/when it causes the MIB to come knockin'.

The people of china live under chinese law. I can see merit in helping them overcome opression, but this constant durge about china not "censoring the internet" for its citizens and the US being all squeaky clean on this matter is complete bullshit. The greater problem is when it's something that pisses off ma and pa kettle thet politicos in washington drag out threats of trade tarrifs and that "offensive" speech largely ends up being censored across the whole goddamned motherfucking world.

Can be used illegally (0)

boingyzain (739759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730149)

What's stopping someone from using this to anonymously download pirated content, or worse, child porn?

Re:Can be used illegally (1)

QCompson (675963) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730337)

Good point. On a related note, what's to stop someone from committing a crime in the privacy of their own home? Someone should be monitoring these "private homes", otherwise people could be using them to shelter all sorts of illegal activity.

this hose is gay (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730151)

Psiphon just plain sucks. It relies on trusted peers in uncensored countries to relay pages. The Chinese gov will simply close the port and be done with it. Nice idead, but crappy technology. Presumably these peers must be found and secured with plaintext emails - which are likely monitored. It also happens to be a great way for anonymous pedophiles to surf kiddie porn without having their IP exposed. All they have to do is impersonate web-deprived Chinese surfers.

Re:this hose is gay (1)

DarkJC (810888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730171)

Nice attempt at a troll. Did you even read the article? The port it uses is also heavily used for financial transactions around the world. They'd be insane just to block it.

The Work of the Sweat Hogs? (2, Funny)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730155)

Would it be apropos to say, "Up your nose with a rubber hose!" to China now? (Come on you 30-something Slashdotters, surely you remember Welcome Back Kotter? It was a formative experience like JJ Walker's "Dynomite!")

Ah, the irony.... (0, Offtopic)

PoprocksCk (756380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730156)

What's ironic is that I go to this school, and I'm probably one of the last Slashdotters to hear of this. Oh well.

Something important from Canada (-1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730158)

This could be a good thing for the citizens and a nightmare for governments that try to censor the internet.

On a side note, I have always wondered why Canada, despite being among the G8, does not have a native car name. All the other G8 members have a car name, which to some extent, is a "national" pride.

Here we go:

1: USA - GM

2: UK - Land Rover

3: Italy - FIAT

4: Germany - BMW

5: Russia - LADA

6: France - Peugeot

7: Japan - Toyota

8: Canada - Nothing

Re:Something important from Canada (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730189)

8: Canada - Polar Bear

Re:Something important from Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730317)

DeLorean

Subversive uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730166)

So what's stopping perverts uses this to cloak their kiddie porn downloading?

They are going to do WHAT? (0, Offtopic)

deft (253558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730172)

Anyone else read "Canadians To Douche Chinese Firewall" at first glance?

Seriously, I need sleep. Moving sucks. Was good for a double take though :)

Child Pr0n! (1)

Dankling (596769) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730182)

So now when somebody gets caught overseas for child porn the ones who forwarded the request can also get prosecuted?

I swear officer, I didn't know she was 8

Suddenly it seems like a pretty good argument, no?

from the take-that-eh dept. (2, Funny)

Baricom (763970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730184)

I'd just like to say that I would mod samzenpus funny for the best Slashdot department in recent memory, if I were able.

Thanks for the chuckle :)

How would they (china) get the software? (1)

anoack (649361) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730202)

How do you make something like that public without the Chinese censoring it out? The project name is "Psiphon". The only thing the commies have to do is just filter out "Psiphon" and voila! How exactly are you going to get this software to the people with a blindfold on their head?
Air drop thousands of USB flash drives?

nice... but what about cuba? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730223)

i realize that this work done by a Canadian university has little to do with coordinated government policy.

but it's worth mentioning that Canada has been a supporter of Cuba with all kinds of aid, assisting a dictatorial regime to circumvent international restrictions and generally propping up an untenable and oppressive system.

If China is moving away from Marxist ideology, now effectively "only" a police state with money and the budding evils of capitalism, then Cuba is a old-school police state with general poverty. makes you wonder how technology could be used to shake the stagnation out of that situation.

Ethnocentric (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730227)

Have you ever considered that it's a bit ethnocentric to try to "save" Chinese from their own conservative culture? Christ, you may as well be invading them! The fact is that most Chinese support censorship.

Can you say "open Proxy"? (4, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730239)

My complaint with this scheme, and Tor, is that they are essentially open proxies. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to pooch the acl lines on a Squid and leave it running a bit will know what happens next. One day you notice your bandwidth pegged at max and you scramble to fix it.

international meddling, eh? (4, Insightful)

DeveloperAdvantage (923539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730278)

As a Canadian, although I do sympathize with those in China trying to get around their censorship, I am concerned with one country developing a tool with the explicit stated goal of trying to undermine an internal regulation of another country. In effect, it provides the user with information which is not allowed in their own country.

What would the Canadian government think if people in countries with different drug laws started intentionally mailing their drugs, which they consider legal, into Canada? Better yet, what would Canada think if such an action was sponsored by the government of the offending country (Psiphon is coming out of a publicly funded university in Canada).

As another example, currently a hot topic up here is gun violence. Many of the guns get into Canada from the US, where the gun laws are not as strict. Certainly, and rightfully so, the Canadian government would be offended if the US government funded a program with the goal of getting more guns into Canada.

I agree both drugs and guns *can* be much more harmful than information, but if the consequence of having that information is jail sentence in a Chinese prison, then enabling them to access it is something that should not be taken lightly.

Hmm... Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14730285)

Canada is the country that considers any art with sexual depictions of children to be child porn, punishable by 5 to 10 years in the clink. And they're going to be the protectors of "freedom of speech"...

Heck, half of Lewis Carrol's artwork could be considered illegal under Canadian law...

There are VERY few Internet users in North Korea (1)

aquadivina (947903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14730322)

Few of us really comprehend how restrictive the government there is. Its so restrictive that everyone who leaves the country must leave family members behind - literally as hostages. I am not just saying this because of BushCo propaganda about NK "They make US look good..." the level of government control there is unlike anything else anywhere on the planet. Its like China during the Cultural Revolution, and until just a few years ago, this represented total information control. Say the wrong thing, and you disappear, forever.. Often, your family (children, spouse, parents - whoever lives with you) - does too. Seriously.. Its ths stuff of nightmares.. The only North Koreans who surf the net from inside North Korea are very high-level KWP VIPs like Kim Jong-Il himself.. and maybe his immediate family and inner circle.. And I doubt if *any* of them besides the Fear Leader himself is surfing 'dissident' sites. And if he does surf your site, you wont be able to tell it from the IP address... North Korean net surfers use Internet connectivity that they buy from China and Japan..
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