Alert! Alert! Good Use For Cat Videos!

A Trick That Hides Censored Websites Inside Cat Videos by Kaveh Waddell.

From the post:

A pair of researchers behind a system for avoiding internet censorship wants to deliver banned websites inside of cat videos. Their system uses media from popular, innocuous websites the way a high schooler might use the dust jacket of a textbook to hide the fact that he’s reading a comic book in class. To the overseeing authority—in the classroom, the teacher; on the internet, a government censor—the content being consumed appears acceptable, even when it’s illicit.

The researchers, who work at the University of Waterloo’s cryptography lab, named Slitheen after a race of aliens from Doctor Who who wear the skins of their human victims to blend in. The system uses a technique called decoy routing, which allows users to view blocked sites—like a social-networking site or a news site—while generating a browsing trail that looks exactly as if they were just browsing for shoes or watching silly videos on YouTube.

Slitheen’s defining feature is that the complex traffic it generates is indistinguishable from a normal request. That is, two computers sitting next to one another, downloading data from Amazon.com’s homepage—one that does so normally and another with the contents of this Atlantic story instead of Amazon’s images and videos—would create identical traffic patterns. The more complex Slitheen request would take slightly longer to come back, but its defining characteristics, from packet size to timing, would be the same.

How about that! With a clean local browser history as well.

After reading Waddell’s post, read Slitheen: Perfectly imitated decoy routing through traffic replacement, then grab the code at: https://crysp.uwaterloo.ca/software/slitheen/.

Talk up and recommend Slitheen to your friends, startups, ISPs, etc.

Imagine an Internet free of government surveillance. Doesn’t that sound enticing?

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