China blocks Perspectives after DigiNotar affair
I'm an anonymous Chinese coward living in PRC. Like many slashdotters here I began to use services like Perspectives after the recent DigiNotar breach. It worked great until about yesterday when the Perspectives FF addon could no longer contact the default notary servers (perspectives*.networknotary.org, * being the numerical 1-8). A rough look at the captured packets shows disrupted traffic from the notary servers, with spurious RSTs and tampered TTLs. It seems that the PRC regime is onto Perspectives, right after the DigiNotar affair which prompted many people around the globe to be aware of Perspectives-like services.
But this prompt action against a still very obscure service is not quite expected. It makes me even more suspecting of China's role behind similar attacks. If Perspectives, as unknown as it is to the masses, is regarded a worthy target of blocking (especially recently), it means the PRC regime is (or could be) harmed by wide adoption of Perspectives. Now what is Perspectives supposed to do harm to? SSL MITM attacks.
It makes sense for the PRC regime to crack SSL as much as possible. Surveillance over all SSL-encrypted messages would be the censors' wet dream (GMail comes to mind). I don't know whether it is planning, experimenting with, or conducting such attacks using some combination of SSL vulnerabilities. The recent blocking of Perspectives hints something worse than I previously thought of.