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Researchers Reinvent The Internet To Thwart Censorship

Researchers Reinvent The Internet To Thwart Censorship

Telex turns the Internet into a proxy server to thwart government censorship.

Alice Chan

Telex, a new system developed by University of Michigan and University of Waterloo researchers, claims to disable government censorship by transforming the Internet into a proxy server. Currently, accessing censored sites involves routing requests through a proxy server that acts as an intermediary from clients seeking to connect with blocked servers. But because censors are able to monitor the content of traffic on the whole network, they are able to eventually find and block the proxy too.

The Telex system could be downloaded from an intermittently-available website or borrowed from friends. Users wishing to access blacklisted sites would establish a secure connection to any HTTPS password-protected website that isn’t blocked. A secret-coded tag into the page headers is attached to user’s request that would then pass through routers at various ISPs. The stations would then divert the connections so that the user could get to any site on the Internet. A Telex station on a mock ISP in the researchers’ lab have been tested with a client in Beijing who was able to stream videos from YouTube even though the site is blocked there.

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