Building A Censor-Resistant Web?

from the one-option dept

With recent efforts to take down various websites, which we've been documenting here on Techdirt, there's been increasing discussions about ways to create a more "censor-proof" internet. We've discussed the idea of a decentralized DNS system and now Aaron Swartz is proposing a "censor-resistant web" system that makes use of hashes and authentication certificates. It's an interesting idea, though it does seem like there are a lot of moving parts, which might make it more difficult to implement. Either way, as we've been predicting for a while now, a lot of the events of the past few months have really only served to expose bottleneck intermediaries and to alert people to infrastructure that needs to be more decentralized.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: censor-proof, censoring, distributed, free speech

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2010 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: first poster

    When it comes to the ruckus for an alternative DNS and various forms of "darknets" (and trust me, they have been tried before, long before most of the kids on here even had a computer), they are used mostly to disguise or try to hide illegal activity.

    The most obvious reasons are things like piracy and illicit discussions, such as political upheavals. Those people who choose to try to hide usually have something to hide. That in itself makes them suspicious, especially in countries who attempt to control access to the internet (and there are many of them).

    Can you differentiate that an https session to a shopping site isn't actually transferring something else for those that know the secret password?

    Actually, it is incredibly easy to tell the difference. One of the amazing things about the internet is that everything looks different when you start to look at the flows and the movement, the sources and the destinations.

    Can you figure out that a long list of files transferred over a few days using various routes actually includes hidden bits of information that the target can assemble in the end?

    Again, if you are taking steps to hide your activity by using encryption or certain types of connection, your activity will look different from other users. If you are talking a secret code to pass small messages, that might work to a certain extent, but it would require a significant effort to setup and they receive.

    Uses of the common dodges, like VPN or open gateways / relays would stand out like sore thumbs. Rather than blocking you, they might just monitor you instead.

    Nobody is saying that there is 100% blocking from any country, but those who do choose to do blocking (such as some Muslim countries), are often very effective at making sites or materials generally unavailable. Remember, these are places where the only incoming internet connections are peered through government controlled facilities. If you connect to the outside world, they know what you connected to.

    It is what it is. When there is discussions on TD about alternate DNS systems, it is for either piracy or the dissemination of sites like Wikileaks. It is rarely for anything noble.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.