Google presentó uProxy | Share your pathway to the Internet

How is uProxy different to other proxies?

There are many differences, depending on the exact details of the proxy service you want to compare uProxy to. But the main difference is that users selectively share their Internet connection with trusted friends. It’s intended for user’s to be able to have the same level of security as their friends and family.

It’s also worth noting that uProxy not a centralized service, so it cannot be blocked in one place. It runs on your browser, so it moves with you. The proxy also lives only as long as your friend is running uProxy in their web-browser. If your friend fully closes their web-browser or turns off their computer while you are using their computer to get access to the Internet, the uProxy connection will stop (and you will be notified). When they open their browser again, you will be able to start using them as a proxy service again.

Is there a risk to using uProxy (or VPNs or other proxies)?

There are two ways to use uProxy (or VPNs or other proxies).

If you are providing a someone with access, then you have to trust that they will use your Internet connection legally. You are responsible for their online activity. Because you cannot see what a friend is doing on your Internet connection, you should think carefully before you give someone access to your Internet connection. If you are behind a corporate or restricted network, you should also check with your network administrators and technical support magicians to make sure you are not opening a security hole into the normally restricted network.

On the other hand, if you are using uProxy to get access to the Internet from someone, you also have to trust them. If their computer is at an insecure WiFi hotspot, you will not necessarily be making your Internet connection any more private or secure. Moreover, you need to trust the proxy services you use, because the proxy service has the technical capacity to block, misdirect, and manipulate your Internet traffic. Even if you trust the location from which you are connecting to the Internet, make sure you know how to stay safe and secure online.

Does uProxy anonymize a user’s Internet connection?

uProxy is not designed to be an anonymizing service. Services like Tor provide a much stronger guarantee that a user’s IP address is hidden from from the target site as well as intermediaries. uProxy does not provide such a guarantee.

Who sees that I’m using uProxy and how do they see it?

One of the ways uProxy connects you through your friends, is by connecting to existing chat networks, such as Facebook or Google Hangouts. uProxy can use a chat network to discover new friends and setup peer-to-peer proxying from your friends. If a user does so, then the chat network can see that the user has uProxy installed. A user’s chat contacts may also see this.

To anyone on the same local network (e.g. WiFi hotspot) the uProxy connection looks like an encrypted connection to another user on the Internet. There’s no uProxy-specific mark on traffic that identifies the traffic as being sent by uProxy. We’d like the traffic to look no different from a networked video game or Internet phone calls. Protocol detection and obfuscation are both very active research fields.We’ll be using encryption and obfuscation technologies to make it hard to identify the traffic between users. This means that the traffic will not look like standard WebRTC internet traffic, and should be very hard to identify and block.

Does uProxy let people do P2P sharing of files, like torrent systems do?

uProxy is not a file sharing tool. uProxy only proxies your web browser traffic.

Can I look at the source code?

The source code will be released by the University of Washington under the Apache 2 license after the trusted tester phase is completed. If you would like to get involved sooner go to http://uproxy.org/#join

What about schools and restricted corporate networks?

There are standard ways to restrict access with a school or corporate network. For example, when they control the hardware, they can restrict the installation of extensions. They need to do this already in order to stop traditional proxying extensions.


What is uProxy?

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uProxy is a browser extension that lets users share alternative more secure routes to the Internet. It’s like a personalised VPN service that you set up for yourself and your friends. uProxy helps users protect each other from third parties who may try to watch, block, or redirect users’ Internet connections.

This project is an experiment in enabling people to provide each other with a more secure and private connection to the internet. At the moment, it is under active development and we are interested in working with a limitted number of testers to help develop the tool.

What does uProxy do and why would I want to use it? Leer más “Google presentó uProxy | Share your pathway to the Internet”

From encryption to darknets: As governments snoop, activists fight back

In Iran, they would think about jamming as a first countermeasure.

In the wake of the Occupy protest movement in cities around the world, some online activists have gathered together to create The Darknet Projectand the Free Network Foundation, two rather quixotic attempts to re-engineer mesh networking to the point that it would encircle the globe and act as a giant encrypted network.

“With an ISP, the government can tell an ISP to cut that connection,” wrote a Reddit user named pomegranati in a recent post. “With a public network, especially if all the connections are anonymous, they won’t know where something is coming from or where something is going. They can track what’s happening, but they won’t be able to shut it down unless they go to every specific node and physically shut them down. Now, if the network is encrypted, then they won’t know what’s being sent.”

The problem for activists is that, just as in the mobile world, there are also real-world attacks that can compromise physical networks.

WiFi uses the same band of energy (2.4 GHz) that microwave ovens do, so getting a few people to stand on rooftops, Say Anything-style, would probably do much to disrupt any local mesh WiFi network within a radius of tens of meters.

“If you want to jam a wireless signal, you can just put a microwave on the roof and set it to full power,” Kaplan said. “In Iran, they would think about jamming as a first countermeasure, because it’s so extremely cheap.”

Plus, if the network is designed to have new nodes join easily, then it will be just as easy to add fake nodes, and to inject fake instructions into the network, confusing traffic or causing it to come to a halt entirely.

Doing the most good

Knowing how to use much of this technology at the level of detail required to stay reasonably safe is beyond most common users. For the majority of activists, properly vetted software and hardware protection of mobile phones and Internet connections may be too expensive or too complicated to set up and maintain properly.

But for those not well-versed in security, the hope for secure communications isn’t over. Some of the most dramatic worldwide gains come when the tech behemoths that we all rely on everyday start re-thinking their own approach to privacy.

“When Google turned on SSL by default, in January 2010, in one day that company did more to protect the privacy of activists than the rest of us have done since,” Chris Soghoian concluded.

“If Google encrypted the contents of your Android phone by default, that would provide a huge protection [for] people whose phones are stolen or are seized by the police. Those are the kind of protections that we need,” he added. “All these applications that people are creating, that activists are creating, and then abandoning six months after their funding runs out—those are just a waste of time. Those are never going to go anywhere and they’re never going to be used by anyone. We need technologies that can be used by millions of consumers, without playing with configuration options.”


By  | http://arstechnica.com
The Free Network Foundation has worldwide plans
The Free Network Foundation has worldwide plans

Darknets

Other projects have moved beyond mobile phones, trying to create new infrastructure that can be used by activists to spread an Internet connection across a wide area through either mesh networking or a related project spawned out of Anonymous and reddit, often referred to as a “darknet.”

For years, mesh networking projects have sprung up across the world as a way to share an Internet connection over a large geographic area. The idea is that each individual node can share data (including an Internet backhaul) with other local nodes, eventually cobbling together a much larger network.

Many community wireless projects got started in the early 2000s as a way to provide Internet access to underserved, and particularly rural communities. Since then, many have collapsed due to a corresponding rise in commercial Internet service, particularly 3G service provided via local mobile providers. Of the community WiFi networks that still operate, few are designed for encrypted, heavily secure communication. Activists instead are now trying to create community networks that are built from the ground up with security in mind.

Some have been more successful than others. Since 2003, for instance, the FunkFeuer network in Austria has worked on expanding its wireless network across many parts of the country. This past weekend, the two main hubs in Vienna and Graz were connected via a new node over the Alps, with the Graz network extending southward into neighboring Slovenia. Other similar city-scale projects exist in St. Louis, Oakland, Vancouver, Montevideo, and Athens.

“What you want to have is end-to-end encryption the whole time,” said Aaron Kaplan, one of the leaders of FunkFeuer. “If you rely on the encryption happening in between, it just takes one link to cheat on the encryption, which decrypt the packets, stores them, and then encrypts them again—like a man-in-the-middle attack.” Leer más “From encryption to darknets: As governments snoop, activists fight back”

The end of the racial digital divide?

Posted by Barbara Kiviat

Over the past decade or so, there has been a lot of hand wringing about how minorities in the U.S. use computers and the Internet at lower rates than whites. That ostensibly handicaps them in realms from searching for a job to finding the best deal on a car. A 1999 report from the Commerce Department found that “Black and Hispanic households are approximately one-third as likely to have home Internet access as households of Asian/Pacific Islander descent, and roughly two-fifths as likely as White households.” Just last year, the Pew Research Center reported that “by a 59%-to-45% margin, whites are more likely to go online using a computer on a typical day than are African Americans.”

Ready for the tables to turn? A new report from Pew’s Internet and American Life Project shows that blacks and Hispanics are actually on the Internet more often than whites… when it comes to getting there by way of a mobile phone. First of all, a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanics own mobile phones. And then more of them use their phones to access the Internet. While 33% of white mobile phone users go online with their device, 46% of blacks do and 51% of Hispanics. (Pew notes that the Hispanics it surveyed were all “English-speaking.”)


Posted by Barbara Kiviat

Over the past decade or so, there has been a lot of hand wringing about how minorities in the U.S. use computers and the Internet at lower rates than whites. That ostensibly handicaps them in realms from searching for a job to finding the best deal on a car. A 1999 report from the Commerce Department found that “Black and Hispanic households are approximately one-third as likely to have home Internet access as households of Asian/Pacific Islander descent, and roughly two-fifths as likely as White households.” Just last year, the Pew Research Center reported that “by a 59%-to-45% margin, whites are more likely to go online using a computer on a typical day than are African Americans.”

Ready for the tables to turn? A new report from Pew’s Internet and American Life Project shows that blacks and Hispanics are actually on the Internet more often than whites… when it comes to getting there by way of a mobile phone. First of all, a higher percentage of blacks and Hispanics own mobile phones. And then more of them use their phones to access the Internet. While 33% of white mobile phone users go online with their device, 46% of blacks do and 51% of Hispanics. (Pew notes that the Hispanics it surveyed were all “English-speaking.”) Leer más “The end of the racial digital divide?”