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Researchers Debut Proxy-Less Anonymity Service 116

Trailrunner7 writes "As state-level censorship continues to grow in various countries around the globe in response to political dissent and social change, researchers have begun looking for news ways to help Web users get around these restrictions. Now, a group of university researchers has developed an experimental system called Telex that replaces the typical proxy architecture with a scheme that hides the fact that the users are even trying to communicate at all."
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Researchers Debut Proxy-Less Anonymity Service

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  • Bad assumption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2011 @11:37AM (#36800506)

    The bad assumption is that government controlled ISPs in said censored nations won't make their own Telex nodes and just intercept traffic before it reaches the web at large. The really bad assumption is that other ISPs between the end user and the fake destination will have Telex nodes to do the dirty work. This method seems to be screaming MITM me.

  • Re:Bad assumption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mmmmbeer ( 107215 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @12:14PM (#36800888)

    I don't think just any node could interpret the message. It would be built specifically for the node they are using. It also doesn't imply anything about not using other security. The telex message could be (and probably should be) an encrypted communication, so the telex node would just know where it's going, not what it means.

    Basically, all this does is allow any website to act as a proxy without being obvious that they're a proxy. It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it has any chance of working. Governments will identify possible nodes through either technological means or just good old "social engineering" (snitches) and simply shut off all access to those sites. Or they'll take it a step further and restrict all sites except for a whitelist.

  • Re:Um. excuse me? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gerddie ( 173963 ) on Monday July 18, 2011 @12:33PM (#36801052)
    After reading TFA: They do not assume that your ISP has this "station", only some ISP. You tag your https request to some unblocked site by using public key code encryption to indicate that you want a secure anonymous connection. When your request packages are routed you might hit a router from an ISP who runs such a "station". This router may identify the tag and and if so, the "station" answers the request by setting up an encrypted between itself and the user (you) who can then use it like a proxy. In other words - the headline is wrong, because you still use a proxy, the only difference is that the IP of the doesn't need to be publicly known. Instead, you need to know the public key of a (group of) station(s) and hope that the traffic gets routes to pass through one of these.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.