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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Software Developed To Defeat Online Censors

Software Developed To Defeat Online Censors

Software Developed To Defeat Online Censors

Added: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011
Category: Bit Torrent Freedom > The Right To Share
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
New piece of software called Telex was developed by American computer scientists. Its purpose is to hide information from censored sites inside traffic from safe websites.
telex_logo_30878.jpg

In beta mode, the software managed to defeat Chinese Internet filters. The development of Telex started over a year ago. Since then, four team members, including Dr. Alex Halderman, did an amazing effort to make the software work against various anti-filtering technologies.

The matter is that major part of the existing anti-filtering systems connect to some server or network located outside the country of user’s residence. The key to their success is to promote such servers and networks just enough so that filters can’t be aware of them. Nevertheless, Telex turned such approach against itself. Instead of having a server outside the network, the program is doing it in the core of the network. Actually, Telex benefits from the small number of net-censoring nations.

It works the following way. When an Internet a user gets stuck at a banned site, the software puts a tag or marker on the stream of information being sent to a safe destination. Later, the routing points outside the user’s country recognize that the stream in question has been marked and automatically re-direct a request to a banned website. Ultimately, the stream bounces back to the Internet user just as if it were information from a safe website.

As for the safety, the information is locked through a cryptograpic key which can be used only by the owner to help the software be safe from interference. One is unable to see the marker unless they have a corresponding private key. The spotting routers of the program unlock the banned material by using the above mentioned cryptographic key. When the software is deployed, Internet service providers normally add marker-spotting software to their routers.

Telex has been tested for a few months to prove that it is able to overcome even sophisticated censoring systems. It has also been tried from within China and thus far it has had no problems with the filtering there, enabling users to view banned material like HD YouTube videos and websites tagged “subversive”.

An official launch of the software is scheduled to take place at the oncoming Usenix security conference. Hopefully, the conference in question will become a promoter to people working on anti-filtering tools.


By:
SaM
August 3rd,2011

Posted by: 
SaM

Date:  Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011



Comments (10) (please add your comment »)

1
posted by (2011-08-03 11:45:19)
TrojanMouse avatarWay to go guys!

Thanks SaM.

2
posted by Blocked (2011-08-03 15:09:56)
No avatarAdditional reading copied/pasted:

19 July 2011 Last updated at 06:50 ET
Share this page
“Telex” to help defeat web censors
China operates a very sophisticated web filtering system.
Data smuggling software could help citizens in countries operating strict net filters visit any site they want.
Developed by US computer scientists the software, called Telex, hides data from banned websites inside traffic from sites deemed safe.
The software draws on well-known encryption techniques to conceal data making it hard to decipher.
So far, Telex is only a prototype but in tests it has been able to defeat Chinese web filters.
Outside in
Telex was developed to get around the problem that stops other anti-censorship technologies being more effective, said Dr Alex Halderman, one of the four-strong team that has worked on Telex since early 2010.
Many existing anti-censorship systems involve connecting to a server or network outside the country in which a user lives.
This approach relies on spreading information about these servers and networks widely enough that citizens hear about them but not so much that censors can find out and block them.
Telex turns this approach on its head, said Dr Halderman.
"Instead of having some server outside the network that's participating we are doing it in the core of the network," he said.
Telex exploits the fact that few net-censoring nations block all access and most are happy to let citizens visit a select number of sites regarded as safe.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote
We are all seeing how powerful information can be at helping citizens assert themselves and their human rights”
Dr Alex Halderman
When a user wants to visit a banned site they initially point their web browser at a safe site. As they connect, Telex software installed on their PC puts a tag or marker on the datastream being sent to that safe destination.
Net routers outside the country recognise that the datastream has been marked and re-direct a request to a banned site. Data from censored webpages is piped back to the user in a datastream disguised to resemble that from safe sites.
Rights fight
The datastream is subtly altered using a well-known encryption technique called public key cryptography. This allows anyone with a public key to lock content but only allows the owner of the corresponding private key to unlock it.
This cryptographic technique helps secure Telex against interference, said Dr Halderman.
"You cannot see this marker unless you have a corresponding private key," he said.
The Telex-spotting routers know the key so they can unlock the content and discover the website a user is really interested in seeing. If Telex is deployed, ISPs would be encouraged to add marker-spotting software to the routers in their networks.
Although Telex was "not ready" for real users, Dr Halderman said the development team had been using it for their own web browsing for months. In addition, he said, the team had carried out some small scale tests against sophisticated filtering systems.
"We've also tried it from within China bouncing it off computers there," he said. "So far, we've had no problems with the censorship there."
Protestors in Iran have used the web to co-ordinate their action
Telex allowed the team to view banned content such as high definition YouTube videos and sites deemed "subversive" by the Chinese authorities.
One stumbling block for Telex was getting the basic software to users without it being compromised by net censors who could add spyware or key loggers to it, said Dr Halderman.
There were other issues to be resolved as development continues.
"The most difficult part is making sure the connections the user is making to an uncensored website that we use to disguise the censored content are convincing enough," he said.
"But," he said "that's the parameter we would adjust as the censor becomes more sophisticated."
The developers are planning to give a more formal launch to Telex at the upcoming Usenix security conference. That conference will host an annual workshop for the growing numbers of people developing anti-censorship code, he said.
"We are all seeing how powerful information can be at helping citizens assert themselves and their human rights," he said. "It's a deeply interesting technical problem and a goal that's worthy of any technologist's attention."

3
posted by (2011-08-03 15:24:58)
whospectrum avatarerrrr can anyone tell me what this all about???

4
posted by (2011-08-03 19:33:32)
TheMoog avatarSimply put chap......most of the ways to stop us from getting access to torrent sites has been bypassed by this wonderful bit of programing. It hides itself very well and has a 'key' that allows you and only you to access the information 'torrents' that you are downloading. I hope that helps chap....ciao for now....The Moog

5
posted by (2011-08-03 19:35:10)
TheMoog avatarOh....Forgot to say,thank you yet again Sam.

6
posted by Blocked (2011-08-04 00:48:35)
menahunie avatarSo much for that Russian scam we read about earlier Huh?
The problem I see is ISP's would be now using marker spotting routers as the article states. The RIAA and MPAA would use a court order to get that information on a user in a copyright law suit. So I thin I'll want some more and see what develops. This would be the smoking gun pointing directly at a down loader....
What would be better is say a torrent site would broadcast a marker where software I have would see it. Then I could be redirected to another IP or url. Even if a censor filter had the same software I have it wouldn't be able to block this IP or url because the web site could change it constantly. Similar to a dynamic DNS where you have that and you use a service to keep track and keep access to your web site open.

7
posted by Site Friend (2011-08-04 08:23:59)
mariner1500 avatarCan't wait for this. I frequent the persian Gulf region and it'll be nice to finally be able to access sites like ET and TPB from countries that block just about everything interesting there. Tx, SaM.

8
posted by (2011-08-04 12:42:39)
samps avatarwtf my head's fukkin paining reading such long posts

9
posted by (2011-08-04 13:12:01)
jumbo71 avatargreat invention guys, the sooner the better its released, anything to stop them blocking us from using the internet that nobody owns..lol

10
posted by (2011-08-08 09:34:28)
N3K avatarhttps://telex.cc/software.html



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