‘TapDance’ Networking Technology Designed to Beat Censorship – Breitbart News

Robinson announced the project aiming to fight global censorshipvia Medium, breaking down the way in which he and his fellow researchers are rewiring the Internet for freedom. To do this, they will use refraction networking also known as decoy routing through a utility known as TapDance to confuse and subvert national censors. They debuted it at this years Usenix Security Symposium, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

TapDance is a complex tool with a surprisingly simple explanation. Essentially, requests from a country in which a site is censored will be rerouted through, and then refracted from, a site that is deemed acceptable to whatever censors are in place. To do this, relevant internet service providers will need to employ TapDance within the core of their infrastructure. Once they have done so, TapDance will simply watch for any signals sent with a special, secret tag that signals the request is from a censored area of the world then disguises it for them in real time.

The test conducted employed popular anti-censorship app Psiphon, and involved more than 50,000 users. After its promising success, the creators of TapDance believe thatTapDance can be practically realized at ISP scale with good performance and at a reasonable cost, and that it could very well create further opportunities for long-term, large-scale deployments of TapDance or other refraction networking schemes in the future.

That said, no one is really sure how good TapDance will be at evading the robust national defenses of governments ruling in places like North Korea, let alone China. In fact,professor Ian Goldberg and Ph.D. student Cecylia Bocovich at Ontarios University of Waterloo believe that it is within the capabilities of more powerful censors to detect and blockTapDancetraffic in its current form, according to an e-mail received by CBC News.

To that end, Bocovich and Goldberg are developing their own solution, in Slitheen. Rather than employing refraction networking to hide censored requests, Slitheen actually disguises them as requests for acceptable content, and tailoring the traffic patterns to match the fake data requested. Unfortunately, it is also currently much more difficult to implement for ISPs.

If TapDance succeeds on a broader scale, it represents the worlds current best hope for a free and open internet. If ISPs along the very backbone of the information superhighway can implement such a simple tool, freedom of speech and information will be exponentially harder to hold prisoner.

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'TapDance' Networking Technology Designed to Beat Censorship - Breitbart News

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