Privacy and Subversion with Distributed OSS
Posted 18 Jul 2000 at 01:48 UTC by jwcheung
Several of my peers have expressed interest in working on projects
for gnuidea. One project would guarantee GNU/Linux users the freedom to
surf with privacy by using a distributed trojan horse program that will
reside on unsecured Windows computers with broadband connections to the
internet. This trojan horse would create an anonymizing (excuse the
metaphor) "cloud" that will disguise and/or spoof and/or reroute any and
all incoming/outgoing traffic.
The second project would also be a distributed effort to circumvent the
beijing firewall blockage of certain western media websites like NY Times
online. If anyone could work with a mass-market media company like NY
Times, ABC, Turner, etc., perhaps we could get permission to use push
technology to repost headlines and articles on personal websites. If we
could get people around the world to create pages with headline-reposting
code, this would probably be an effective temporary workaround that would
also be adaptable for future blocks and chokes developed by Beijing.
If I understand this article correctly, the first paragraph suggests
that we anonymize ourselves not by creating good anonymizers, but by
suborning unwilling users of a particular operating system
(windows/mac/whatever, the point is that a group is singled out).
This does not seem very "White Hat".
Can it be done? Sure. Should it? No. A person suborning another's
resources for their own personal gain is - *gasp* - invading their
privacy. And isn't privacy the topic of such an effort?
You seem to be promoting the implementation of
You seem wholly unaware of web proxy servers,
services like Anonymizer.com, and so on. Or
does china's firewall somehow detect use of such things?
I agree with jlbec.
I can see merit in creating some sort of distributed system to allow news from various organizations to penetrate into areas where
local powers would rather that it did'ent flow.
Note that to do it well, one has to have some mechanism to ensure the ultimate end user that the data they are getting is really what it
proports to be.
The other idea is very bad
Just because it is not only not nice to use something you don't own without permission, but
also such a plan whould (here in Canada anyway) be clearly covered under the heading of "Theft of Telecomunications services" under
The first idea would be allright as long as the folks providing the service were aware of what their CPU and bandwidth was asked to
do, and the
Content providers also allowed the re-distibution. (I suspect that Non-US sites could get lots of co-operation from the USIA for example-
see USINFO for example)
Yes, censorship sucks. But why should we promote organs of propaganda
and misinformation like the New York Times (free registration required)?
Why not work to ensure that Chinese surfers have access to Slashdot,
Technocrat, and Advogato?
Sorry, my example sites show my interests. Somebody name some sites that
are (a) open, in the
Jon Katz sense, (b) likely to be considered subversive by the
Chinese government, and (c) not free software oriented. (-:
how about .., posted 18 Jul 2000 at 19:04 UTC by cmacd »
Doesn't work, posted 19 Jul 2000 at 10:40 UTC by PaulJohnson »
I can sort of see how this might work as a volunteer system: by running this program you get plausible deniability on your own browsing
(honest, it wasn't me who downloaded those TNT recipies, it must have been someone using my privacy server). However this assumes
that the Authorities cannot do traffic analysis. Unless you are seeing such heavy anonymising traffic that your own browsing is lost in the
noise the Authorities can subtract out any requests that immediately follow encrypted traffic arriving at your PC, and thats that. Also if
they can do this correlation then they can correlate traffic from the originating PC with the plaintext requests sent out from yours.
Or am I missing something?
We have been thinking about this for some time. The project outline for
an anonymizing encrypting proxy server that also employs cover traffic
can be found at the AnonCryptoProxy
We think that the idea of breaking into other peoples machines so you
can use their cycles and bandwidth sucks.
Anonymous Developers Wanted
Enjoy and Deploy,