Vive Le Canada

Software Will Let Users Dodge Government Internet Censorship
Date: Wednesday, November 29 2006

Hey Doc! You gotta be the first to comment on this one
November 27, 2006 (5:20 PM EST)
Software Will Let Users Dodge Government Internet Censorship

By K.C. Jones,

Developers from the University of Toronto plan to release software this week that will allow residents in restrictive countries to gain uncensored Internet access through friends' and family members' home computers.

The Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies announced Sunday that it will release psiphon, a "human rights software project," under General Public License, by Friday. The system, part of the lab's CiviSec Project, is funded by the Open Society Institute.

It is not entirely bulletproof, but developers say it will be difficult for censors to identify and block psiphon.

People in free countries can install the free open source software and turn their home computers into "psiphonodes," or personal, encrypted servers. The psiphonode administrator can create and manage user accounts so friends and relatives can log in from censored countries. The encrypted connection allows people in restrictive countries to go to the administrators' unique Web addresses, login with usernames and passwords provided by administrators, and surf the Web.

The people living under censorship (the software developers call them psiphonites) never make a direct connection to Web sites through their own computers. The Web site operators cannot see users' information, though administrators can see everything the psiphonite does.

The psiphon Web site, which provides the software, doesn't have to be operative for the software to work. In other words, even if a censoring regime blocks access to the psiphon Web site, people in restrictive countries can access the wide open Web through their friends' and family members' computers.

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 29, 2006]

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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