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Censorship Communications Networking Your Rights Online

Researchers Find Gaps In Iranian Filtering 156

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "With all the turmoil and internet censorship in Iran making it difficult to get an accurate picture of what's going, security researchers have found a way to locate gaps in Iran's filtering by analyzing traffic exiting Iran. The short version is that SSH, torrents and Flash are high priorities for blocking, while game protocols like WoW and Xbox traffic are being ignored, even though they also allow communication. Hopefully, this data will help people think of new ways to bypass filtering and speak freely, even though average Iranians have worse things to worry about than internet censorship, now that the reformists have been declared anti-Islamic by the Supreme Leader. Given the circumstances, that declaration has been called 'basically a death sentence' for those who continue protesting." Reader CaroKann sends in a related story at the Washington Post about an analysis of the vote totals in the Iranian election (similar to, but different from the one we discussed earlier) in which the authors say the election results have a one in two-hundred chance of being legitimate.
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Researchers Find Gaps In Iranian Filtering

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  • Good job (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wonko the Sane ( 25252 ) * on Sunday June 21, 2009 @09:23AM (#28410117) Journal

    Now the censors know what they are missing.

  • by Jonas Buyl ( 1425319 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @09:56AM (#28410305)

    First they tried with war. Now they are trying to bring down the government. The oposition is a puppet of USA. The elections were valid. The protests are initiated by CIA and the news coverage is unfair. And, besides, we don't really care what happens to Iran and whether the USA appointed president will finally manage to take over Iran and make it McDonalds country. Really, if we cared we'd visit or something.

    Mahmoud! You here! How are things?

  • setup tor bridges (Score:4, Informative)

    by deviceb ( 958415 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:15AM (#28410433) Homepage
    search #iranelection or #neda on
  • by deviceb ( 958415 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:22AM (#28410485) Homepage
    yes, until you are left alone.
    Neda was shot in the heart in front of her father for protesting.
  • by Jonas Buyl ( 1425319 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:24AM (#28410497)
    This is ridiculous. You can't just conjure up some irrelevant examples and use them as an argument when they have absolutely nothing to do with it. E.g. with the coin flip test, the correct analogy would be to check what the chances are for less than 40 heads/more than 60 tails after 100 coin flips. The chances for this happening are indeed very low. That is why it is so impressive that they had 5% of the times 5 as last digit and 17% a 7. The 1/200 is not the chance to have the 5% and 17% (that would be a lot lower) but the chance of having suspicious results vs. the chance of them being false.
    Besides: n/o but I'd rather believe a study made by two PhD students instead of some slashdotter.
  • by arash_hemmat ( 1574901 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:29AM (#28410549)
    Hi, I'm an Iranian and i've been tortured by the internet filtering here for a few years but the filtering after election is really terrible, we can't use the old ssh tunneling methods any more, in fact it seems that all encrypted packages are being dropped so we can't connect to our servers out side of Iran any more so we can't use another method for passing through the filtering, however today i've used a browser based ssh client to connect to my VPS in Germany and installed a proxy using squid but the interesting thing is that we i try to connect to facebook (or any other filtered website) the firewall changes my request to the famous "This site is blocked" page! These things was just examples of methods we tried to pass the filtering, anyway we are using other method to pass the filtering (which i will not mention here for safety!) but we have serious problems connecting to our servers over ssh, i'm going to test the ssh over http method but i know that this will be a temporary method!!!
  • by thesandbender ( 911391 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:30AM (#28410563)
    I'm guessing you've never lived in D.C. or New York were protests are common things. Among the dozens or hundreds a year, there's at least one protest against the NYPD for a shooting, rape, etc. That puts the protesters directly up against the people they're protesting against. And a lot of these are a few dozen people but some are large, loud and pissed. There was a police shooting in NYC a few years ago and Jesse Jackson lead a march on City Hall. The crowd was loud enough I could hear them through a closed office door on the twentieth floor.

    Actually just look back at the 2000 presidential election, there was a lot of protesting against the results in Florida... across the country. The tea parties earlier this year were protests.

    So yes... US citizens can and do protest. Thankfully we live in a country where that usually doesn't lead to bloodshed... but even that has happened on very rare occasion. Complete with pictures of people being shot and dying. []
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:40AM (#28410635)

    I don't think the manipulations at hand here are subtleties like "shifting votes". Seems more like "pulling numbers out of their collective ass" is what happened.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:45AM (#28410657)

    Dude, that's completely wrong. First:

    If you know something about a binomial random variable (which is what we just sampled from), you know that this is (100 choose 48)*.5^(100) = .0735!
    Wow...and that was with only 100 random coin flips. A 1 in 20 chance that, by their metrics, this was a fair set of coin flips (see where the logical incongruity happens?)

    That's not remotely similar to their calculation. It's not a question combinatorics but a question of probability distributions. The last digits generated in a random process have one probability distribution function and human invented ones have another PDF. The comparison here is the election results vs the null hypothesis PDF. Your combinatorics example is completely irrelevant.

    Without a prior on Ahmadi cheating, we cannot make a posterior (the odds after considering the test, or the election results) prediction.

    Really dude, you need to read up on some statistics. What you are ranting about in that section is Bayes' theorem P(A|B) = P(B|A)*P(A)/P(B). It's for conditional probabilities (what is the probability of A given B). It is not applicable in this situation. The prior probability of mr.A cheating has no consequence - we're just looking at the distribution of the numbers. Let me illustrate the folly of your claim: Suppose that the vote count for each and all districts ended with the number 666. Would you say that this was a probable result and that you would have to have mr. A's honesty factored in? We can just looking at the numbers make a probability calculation that tells us how improbable a deviation from the expected PDF is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:00AM (#28410781)

    Make sure your DNS accesses are tunneled as well.

  • It doesn't matter (Score:4, Informative)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:12AM (#28410859) Homepage Journal

    Oil is sold on the open market, and currently, mostly in dollars, meaning that the source isn't as important as the ability to pay for it. Any major disruption in total world supply will have an effect on the ability to pay for it, because the market will bump the price up fast, including the oil from those nations you currently import the most from. They are not going to arbitrarily keep supplying at a much lower price "just because".

    If/when (and I think inevitably) oil becomes priced in a lot more currencies than dollars, it will just cost more for US consumers. All these other nations aren't *that* stupid, they realize as the FRN gets inflated daily, it becomes worth less and less. Eventually they just won't think or accept that the dollar is worth what some blowhards in DC and wallstreet claim it is worth. The FRN is a debt instrument that currently is backed by more debt instruments, and not much else. Back when the petrodollar phenomenon took hold, it worked for the US because where we bought oil from turned around and used those petrodollars to buy US manufactured stuff. Plus, the US domestically produced most of the oil it needed anyway, something not true today.

    Now let us contemplate the status of world trade and manufacturing from 50 years ago to today...hmm..

    Starting to see the longer term ramifications of this? When those foreign nations could get real stuff for the swap, it was acceptable, now they are being told they need to just swap their real stuff-oil or various other commodities- for debt instruments backed by "the full faith and credit" of the biggest liars and conmen out there, who are already in hock to them to the tune of trillions.

    They talk about peak oil, I think the larger picture is we have hit "peak trust" with the tangible producing world versus the US economic system, which apparently the main top official focus seems to be just creating paper and electronic "products" and that those, "trickled down" through keeping everyone in the US in perpetual debt via the credit "industry" combined with national government debt, will be enough to sustain everyone, that all these other folks will just keep swapping their real stuff for fancy IOUs in various flavors.

    I think that isn't going to work for much longer. YMMV. My bet is on the tangibles and the tangibles producers winning the "what is worth more" global economic wars.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:13AM (#28410871)

    Now that the SL has declared the protestors anti-islamic, the police probably have the duty to KILL ON SIGHT anyone found protesting.

    I don't believe it is the police doing the killing. The killing is being done by the Basij. They're the ones who shot Neda, a young girl, supposedly only 16.. Google "Neda" if you aven't already.

    I'm seeing people on twitter suggesting that protesters carry a Koran.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @04:22PM (#28413213)

    Bay of pigs rings a bell?? Or all those other nice elections in south america? The CIA trained the art of elections manipulation there for the past 30+ years... now they are applying this to Iran, hope it's not the CIA and really people wanting to be heard.

  • by Yogiz ( 1123127 ) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @06:39PM (#28414229) Journal

    Actually no, she wasn't protesting. She was quite far from where the active protests took place and she and his father did not participate.

  • by Un pobre guey ( 593801 ) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:53AM (#28416921) Homepage
    Not so fast. The Iranian authorities are shutting off as many of these tools as possible, as well as using the good old fashioned technique of simply imprisoning the sources. For example Amir Sadeghi, the brave photojournalist who runs the [] blog, has gone missing. Also, just plain shooting protesters down in the street [] has evidently not lost its appeal. The net provides new and revolutionary tools of communication, but brutal dictatorships are still able to leverage their tried and true techniques.

    The "Islamic Republic" has lasted longer than the Shah, and has clearly shown that religious oligarchies are every bit as corrupt, barbaric, and secretive as secular ones.

    I hope the people of Iran are able to free themselves of dictatorship soon.

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye