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Censorship Your Rights Online

Tor Researchers' Tool Aims To Map Out Internet Censorship 71

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the developers-mysteriously-disappear-during-senate-csipa-vote dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Tor developers Arturo Filasto and Jacob Appelbaum have released OONI-probe, an open-source software tool designed to be installed on any PC and run to collect data about local meddling with the computer's network connections, whether it be website blocking, surveillance or selective bandwidth slowdowns. Unlike other censorship tracking projects like HerdictWeb or the Open Net Initiative, OONI will allow anyone to run the testing application and share their results publicly. The tool has already been used to expose censorship by T-Mobile of its prepaid phones' browser and also by the Palestinian Authority, which was found to be blocking opposition websites. The minister responsible for the Palestinian censorship was forced to resign last week."
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Tor Researchers' Tool Aims To Map Out Internet Censorship

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  • Risk? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:15PM (#39854097)
    What are the risks for anyone found running OONI-probe in a surveillance heavy country?
    • Re:Risk? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by filthpickle (1199927) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:22PM (#39854137)
      up to and including death.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Such a coddled, uncreative human being you must be, to think that 'death' is the ultimate punishment.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Depends on who you upset and where. A large truck might hit you. You might suffer a home invasion and a quick death.
      You might suffer a home invasion and a long "cult" death. Day, weeks, months under anti terror questioning and dumped, never to be found or left just outside your family home.
      Or you might just have tax, gun, medical or possession problems that fit your 'lifestyle' become legal issues. Or you just drop dead walking home one night ....
    • Re:Risk? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:57PM (#39854279)

      If you're in such a country, you don't need OONI - you know you're already censored.

      This looks to be more a tool against those regimes that claim to be open and against censorship, by pulling aside the curtain and revealing the reality - as, according to TFA, has already happened in Palestine.

      • Re:Risk? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @01:21AM (#39854563) Journal

        If you're in such a country, you don't need OONI - you know you're already censored.

        WRONG !

        OONI still comes handy even if you stay in countries run by authoritarian / totalitarian / bastard governments

        With OONI you can identify _which_ sites they have censored, and you can use OONI to share THAT information to the world

      • by Anonymous Coward

        This looks to be more a tool against those regimes that claim to be open and against censorship

        Regimes? Heck, I have Comcast as my ISP. I can't wait to try out this tool!

    • What are the risks for anyone found running OONI-probe in a surveillance heavy country?

      If they board the ship, they'll rape us, kill us, and sew our skin into their clothing. And if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order.

      • by retchdog (1319261)

        that quote has always bugged me. i'd rather be killed first and then raped and then sewn into their clothing; that would be much better. the only other alternative, being sewn into the clothing and then raped and then killed seems only slightly worse than the so-called "very, very lucky" scenario.

        maybe zoe had a reaver fetish.

        • that quote has always bugged me. i'd rather be killed first and then raped and then sewn into their clothing; that would be much better. the only other alternative, being sewn into the clothing and then raped and then killed seems only slightly worse than the so-called "very, very lucky" scenario.

          We can analyze this using a 'truth table' approach..

          1st 2nd 3rd Conclusion
          1) Kill Rape Sew Bad
          2) Kill Sew Rape Bad
          3) Rape Kill Sew Bad+
          4) R
          • by retchdog (1319261)

            the min-max thing is not inconsistent with central reaver space. serenity, being a pirate transport, has to serve backwater planets to make $. reavers may harass indie ships while being smart enough not to attack alliance. after all, why is the alliance still conducting military ops after re-unification? there are no aliens, so it seems reasonable they are suppressing reavers, not out of any concern, but to suppress the truth.

            of course, the real reason for reaver space is that the movie had to compress seve

    • by Gonoff (88518)
      In the UK, one of the things that can happen is you commit suicide.
  • Pertinent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by djnanite (1979686) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:20PM (#39854131) Homepage
    Especially in light of the UK's recent decision to block The Pirate Bay.

    I wonder what the legal recourse would be if this tool found the government in your respective 'free' democratic country was blocking sites for political reasons...? Could anyone sue the UK government if they were found to be blocking sites without providing a genuine legal reason for doing so?
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      Could anyone sue the UK government if they were found to be blocking sites without providing a genuine legal reason for doing so?

      A government is just a group of people, notably ungoverned. You can't really sue the government. I mean, you can, but only if they allow you to. So really, when you can sue the government and it isn't just dismissed or you, your family, and everyone you ever knew disappear in a 'boating accident', the government is acknowledging that it hasn't been paid enough from Peter to rob Paul. If Peter pays a higher percentage, then Peter can rob Paul and Paul will not be able to sue the government.

      Remember: All law

    • Re:Pertinent (Score:4, Informative)

      by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @01:47AM (#39854653)
      In princible, vote for someone who says they'll lift the blocks. Accountability in a democracy is via the vote. How well that works in practice varies greatly by country.
    • Especially in light of the UK's recent decision to block The Pirate Bay.

      Could anyone sue the UK government if they were found to be blocking sites without providing a genuine legal reason for doing so?

      Ah, but the UK didn't decide to block The Pirate Bay. An English (and Welsh, but not Scottish or Irish) court ruled that some of the UK's ISPs should block The Pirate Bay. That's a judicial decision rather than a governmental one, so would be challenged by an appeal. But as the ISPs weren't interested in fighting it in the first place, and no one else has both the resources and will to do so, it will probably stand forever.

      Were a UK public body to block a website without a legal reason, that action/decision

  • ironic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jsh1972 (1095519) on Monday April 30, 2012 @11:36PM (#39854175)
    Kind of ironic that with the multiple tor-centered stories on slashdot today that just now, when I tried to view this story, I was told that my IP was banned! I thought WTH, then realized that I had tor enabled on the device I was browsing on... (HP touchpad running cm9). I guess I can post AC, I just can't BROWSE anonymous...
    • I guess I can post AC, I just can't BROWSE anonymous...

      Oh, great... now we have a write-only internet.

      • by BlueStrat (756137)

        I guess I can post AC, I just can't BROWSE anonymous...

        Oh, great... now we have a write-only internet.

        Judging by an ever-growing number of /. posts and submissions, I'm not sure this will noticeably change anything.

        Strat

  • by BLKMGK (34057) <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `em4knujerom'> on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @12:06AM (#39854311) Homepage Journal

    I cannot find anything on the site that appears to make it available to me in a form I can run, a GIT repo for devs and some press releases is all. I suppose I could hit the "secure" .onion site but I see nothing to indicate there's code there. the summary appears to make it sound like they want participation and I'd love to help but see no way to do so.

    Am I the only one that finds this clear as mud?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      you've already run it, by verifying that your helpful local filtering system removed the download link. now hurry up and don your tinfoil hat before they filter this post too.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A git repo is (presumably) a "form you can run". Because, you know... "News for nerds", etc.

      • by jgrahn (181062) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @02:07AM (#39854695)

        A git repo is (presumably) a "form you can run". Because, you know... "News for nerds", etc.

        That's what I thought before I clicked the link. It takes you to a list of dozens or hundreds of repos, private and public, for different pieces of software. No indication which one, if any, contains this particular release of this software. That's not how you release something.

    • "I suppose I could hit the "secure" .onion site but I see nothing to indicate there's code there."

      For the second time today, I heard a little voice in the back of my head telling me "You don't really want to click that link..." leaving me wondering where the hell that came from. Both times intuition instantly took the helm and I browsed off on another tangent.

      The first time was an article link on the main page of CNN's home page titled "How to hide from face-detection". In hindsight, what better way to find

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Am I the only one that finds this clear as mud?

      No, you're not the only one. I went to go download it and run it before I made a comment and uh... no.

      Perhaps we could have another story about this when it's in a form that you can compile and run without having to understand the software completely first. And I don't want to hear about how that's irresponsible, nearly nobody in the world understands every line of code on their computer, and probably ALL of them are here on Slashdot.

    • Perhaps it's slash dotted, but I get "Failed to Open Page" when I click on the link which points to http://5m4rylprkig4swgg.onion/ [5m4rylprkig4swgg.onion]
      • by BLKMGK (34057)

        Are you running TOR? If not the TOR .Onion link won't work. I don't happen to have TOR installed or I'd have explored the hidden site myself. So far though no one seems to have found the code to download and test near as I can tell...

  • A nice tool to get a hint of if a certain website is down/inaccessibel for everyone or just you is This Tool! [downforeve...justme.com]

    This service attempts to make a connection to a website of your choice so you can see if it is just your ISP that can't access it.

    • by Plunky (929104) on Tuesday May 01, 2012 @02:35AM (#39854787)

      A nice tool to get a hint of if a certain website is down/inaccessibel for everyone or just you is This Tool! [downforeve...justme.com]

      This service attempts to make a connection to a website of your choice so you can see if it is just your ISP that can't access it.

      Of course, since that is a known site it could easily be redirected to a locally hosted copy that said "Yes, that site is down for everybody! Its not just you!" for sites that were being blocked..

  • The tool has already been used to expose censorship by T-Mobile of its prepaid phones' browser and also by the Palestinian Authority, which was found to be blocking opposition websites. The minister responsible for the Palestinian censorship was forced to resign last week.

    I would like to see that happen in Europe too.

  • What do you expect from a former Soviet client terrorist organization?

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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