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Tool developed to bypass Internet censorship filters

November 28, 2006

Cynthia at IP Democracy cites a New York Times article  that University of Toronto researchers have developed a software tool that could be used to end-run around government-imposed Internet blocks and filters in China and other countries.

The program is called psiphon. Not downloadable and accessible only by password, the utility leaves no fingerprints on the PC of a user in a locality where Internet censorship is practiced. Psiphon works when someone in an uncensored nation downloads the utility and installs it on their PC.

In turn, their PC accessed the Internet as a proxy.

Psiphon was developmed by a team of "hacking activits" (love that term), political scientists, and software engineers.

Cynthia notes two drawbacks:

First, you really have to be careful who you offer your Psiphon password, to. Better to not offer that password electronically.

Second, despite the proxy safeguards users really should delete their browser histories after each session.

Still, those steps strike me as merely small inconveniences for freedom of expression.

Or to put it this way, lots of folks have given up more than their browser history for the right to communicate freely. Online and off.

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