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AI Censorship China Communications Encryption Your Rights Online

VPN Providers Say China Blocks Encryption Using Machine Learning Algorithms 111

Posted by timothy
from the man-vs-state-with-a-cast-of-millions dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The internet control in China seems to have been tightened recently, according to the Guardian. Several VPN providers claimed that the censorship system can 'learn, discover and block' encrypted VPN protocols. Using machine learning algorithms in protocol classification is not exactly a new topic in the field. And given the fact that even the founding father of the 'Great Firewall,' Fan Bingxing himself, has also written a paper about utilizing machine learning algorithm in encrypted traffic analysis, it would be not surprising at all if they are now starting to identify suspicious encrypted traffic using numerically efficient classifiers. So the arm race between anti-censorship and surveillance technology goes on."
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VPN Providers Say China Blocks Encryption Using Machine Learning Algorithms

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  • This is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by sadboyzz (1190877) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:24AM (#42347947)

    I was just in Beijing for two weeks. I have access to two OpenVPN servers, one in New York another in California. These are personal servers so they aren't on the IP based blacklist. However, my connection from Beijing to either of the two would crap out after a day or two, and the only remedy was to change the OpenVPN server port.

    It seems right now they update their blacklist every 24~48 hours. I did not test whether the amount of traffic (idle vs. busy) would affect the time it takes them to block you. Blacklists last longer than two weeks, as the original ports I used was still blocked by the time I left. SSH connections does not seem to be affected at this time.

  • by PlusFiveTroll (754249) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @11:43AM (#42348209) Homepage

    Being that his computer already knows the signature of his server, it would show up very quickly.

  • Re:This is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by sadboyzz (1190877) on Thursday December 20, 2012 @02:13PM (#42350213)

    Yes, I did, it does not work, they are able to distinguish VPN from HTTPS traffic. Their detection scheme doesn't seem to care about the port number.

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