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[tor-talk] 2012 in review: Tor and the censorship arms race
2012 in review: Tor and the censorship arms race
Runa A. Sandvik
New! On DVD
Kazakhstan blocked Tor using Deep Packet Inspection in January 2012.
China started probing Tor bridges using a system that is aimed directly at
Tor, and using code that actually speaks the Tor protocol. Iran started
blocking SSL connections on Valentineâs Day, in preparation for its âhalalâ
Internet. Mobile operators in the US and the UK continue to filter and censor
websites for customers. The government in the UK proposed plans for mass
surveillance. Activists in Iran and Syria were targeted with malware, and the
government in Kuwait proposed plans to regulate the use of social networking
These are some of the Internet censorship events we have seen so far in
2012, and we have only scratched the surface.
In this presentation, I will talk about how the blocking is done (in
terms of what signatures are filtered in Tor, and how we have gotten around
the blocking in each case), and what technologies are being used to filter
Internet traffic â including the use of Western technology to operate the
surveillance and censorship infrastructure in the Middle East.
I will cover what we have learned so far about the mindset of the censor,
as well as the users being censored, and how we can measure and track the
wide-scale censorship in these countries using a framework we have developed.
Lastly, I will explain Torâs development plans to continue to evade
censorship and enable thousands of users around the world to access a free
and open Internet.
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