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Re: [tor-talk] Research paper "The Parrot is Dead: Observing Unobservable Network Communications"

Aw snap, that's me. The papers that I have out now are about Dust v1, which
provides randomization across connection properties to avoid
classification. The Defcon presentation (no paper yet) is about Dust v2,
which shapes connection properties to force classification of traffic into
a desired category (whichever category is not blocked by the filter).
There's no paper for this yet, but there is source code at

The parrot paper was a great paper. However, the criteria for publishing a
CS paper are different than for building a system that provides practical
value. If the threat model for Internet censorship circumvention tools
included CS professors examining all of the world's traffic with custom
software which detects differences between a handful of whitelisted
protocols and observed traffic, then I think the censors would do a very
good job and making circumvention tools would be difficult. Fortunately,
this is not how real world Internet censorship works.

There's a lot to say about how real censorship works vs. what's in the CS
literature. I will cover this in my Defcon talk. If any Tor folks are going
to be there, I would love to hang out!

On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM, coderman <coderman@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 2:33 AM, Asa Rossoff <asa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > ...
> > I found this paper a very interesting read that discusses various
> pluggable
> > transports and other methods of obscuring Tor traffic, and even contends
> > that all the existing "parrot" sysem that try to mimic Skype, VOIP, and
> > traffic are more easily detected than unmasked Tor traffic itself.  It
> > further argues that the approach of those projects is fundamentally
> flawed.
> i'm interested in Blanu's "dust", which will be presented at DEF CON:
> "Defeating Internet Censorship with Dust, the Polymorphic Protocol Engine"
> https://www.defcon.org/html/defcon-21/dc-21-speakers.html
> is there any technical information about dust ahead of presentation?
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