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A new way of routing around ‘Net censorship

To those of a certain age, “Telex” may evoke memories of large, unwieldy, chattering ancestors of the fax machine.

Today Telex is something else: a potentially revolutionary way to route around Internet censorship.

S., who found the information, comments (this will make more sense if you’ve read a bit on the above links):

I suspect there will be a number of interesting variations on this technology. For example, the The Mental Militia forum is almost certainly monitored by one or more Three-Letter Aacronyms. The Telex approach requires many different machines in the network to run a Telex server, and is therefore somewhat difficult and slow to deploy.

Imagine that the TMM server ran a modified server, let’s call it Telex-2 server. People could log into TMM (or another, single website) and would appear to read innocuous stuff. The small group who were trusted and/or in the know enough to have installed a Telex-2 client would be accessing a secure forum, which might contain censored literature, discussion of verboten topics, notice of meetings, a marketplace, etc.

The beauty is that instead of a network of servers running Tor or Telex, a single server could provide secure, well-obscured access to a group of like-minded people. The TLAs might wonder at the level of interest in a site hosting pictures and discussions of well-formed goat udders (I actually saw that following Mutti’s links on TMM) but would have no clue what information was actually being shared, or that any info was being covertly shared.

No smoke, no key words, no interest. They can vacuum it all up and learn nothing, in fact they get more noise in their databases. I think picture and video sharing websites would make good screens, as they use a lot of bandwidth. That makes it that much easier to mask the traffic signature from the secret site.

Another example: When people communicate with PGP, it sends up red flags. They can’t know what we are saying, but they know we are talking, and that we use PGP.

If there were a picture-hosting site with Telex-3, we could use it to store and forward PGP-encrypted messages. I post a picture of an especially nice goat udder, but as the picture is uploading my Telex-3 client sends the PGP message. When you log into the site, the message is sent to you along with a suitable image for cover. No one sees that an encrypted message was sent.

This is the kind of technology that will enable phyles. I’m not a software guru but there are plenty of smart people who will take this and run with it. It’s good news for the good guys.

Hm. It’ll be very interesting to see which governments will scream in alarm about this and try to forbid its adoption. How many alleged “lands of the free” will suspect their own citizens of using telex privacy to perform Evil Plots against them?

Not our “land of the free,” of course. Never that. Our government serves and respects its citizens, always …

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