Telex service could end state internet censorship

Written by Harry Butler

July 20, 2011 // 1:08 p.m.

Tags: #censorship #china #freedom #privacy #telex #the-man

New research by US computer scientists could make it much easier to circumvent web censorship in countries such as China, with the announcement of a new system dubbed Telex.

Not to be confused with the old telephone printing system, Telex focuses on making users anonymous, while making access to websites unblockable.

The system works by inserting private cryptographic tags into normal, non-blocked HTTPS connections. These tags are then intercepted by Telex Stations hosted by ISPs, which redirect the connection to a proxy server through which the user can visit censored web pages.

It's an innovative idea, but as its creators note, it does have some downsides. The system is reliant on ISP co-operation, and censors themselves can still inspect anomalous-looking traffic. You'll also need to have the private Telex Station key in order for it to work, and this could become compromised.

Nevertheless, it's an exciting development in the race against censorship and the technologies behind breaking down its barriers.

Are you convinced that systems such as Telex can beat web censors, or will they always be one step behind those setting the rules? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.
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