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Google Wants to Help You Tiptoe Around the NSA & The Great Firewall of China

Kyle Jacoby (2973265) writes | about 9 months ago

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Kyle Jacoby (2973265) writes "The NSA was right when it postulated that the mere knowledge of the existence of their program could weaken its ability to function. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which serve to mask the source and destination of data by routing it through a 3rd party server, have been a popular method for maintaining internet anonymity for the paranoid and prudent. However, the all-but-silent fall of secure email server Lavabit, and VPN provider CryptoSeal, have shown us just how pervasive the government's eye on our communications is. These companies chose to fold rather than to divulge customer data entrusted to them, which begs the million-dollar question: how many have chosen to remain open and silently hand over the keys to your data?

Google has decided to put the private back in VPN by supporting uProxy, a project developed at the University of Washington with help from Brave New Software. Still using a VPN schema, their aim is to keep the VPN amongst friends (literally). Of course, you'll need a friend who is willing to let you route your net through their tubes. Their simple integration into Firefox and Chrome will lower the barrier creating a decentralized VPN architecture would make sweeping pen register orders more difficult, and would also make blocking VPNs a rather difficult task for countries like China, who block citizens' access to numerous websites.

On a related note, when will the public finally demand that communications which pass through a third party, encrypted, still retain an reasonable expectation of privacy (rendering them pen register order-resistant)?"

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