Chinese censorship busting [was Re: DFN project]

From: Erich M (
Date: Die Jun 13 2000 - 17:18:49 CEST


On 12 Jun 00, at 10:23, Alan Brown added to the bitstream:

> Erich, how's it going? Hope all's well with the new server and everything
> else.

Dear Alan,

I CCed the quintessenz activists list as well as linuxevent, I have
briefed them right now about the effort. On both lists a vast amount of
TCP/IP and IT-knowledge in general is assembled. I'll repeat a few
things as clearly as I can.

First what our status is:

quintessenz server has found a home, the small demonstration box
will follow. Both are running on linux.

With the demonstration box we try 2 develop a simple & cheap
fullscale solution 4 the needs of civil libertarians & other human rights
activists in poor countries. We chose an old 486 box, it will be
configured according to the needs of such an organisation with an
online manual.

Mail server, Mailing Lists, ftp-Server, www server, online Fora -
simple Admin Tools, encryption plugins & more can follow. The Point
is: activists should be enabled 2 establish & maintain their own
communications networks where they live. Old 486 boxes should be
affordable around the globe & the software is free anyway.

This is somewhat different from what DFN intends. I am sure there
are people on this list who can deliver valuable expertise on such an
effort 2 circumvent chinese government online censorhip.

QUestion: What is the best & most effective way 2 create a WWW
network that cannot be banned so easily. Rotating IP-Adresses?
How many would be needed? A Freenet-like system? Or what?

Everything took a while since we discussed that in Moscow. The
European CALEA pendant, the wiretapping issue my Moscow
speech was about really did me in concerning work.

Any answers from people on both lists should be directed 2 Alan &
tnx 4 reading thus far ;))

> Give me an update? Maybe we can even talk on the phone (my call) in the
> next day or two. If you have people who are up for the programming on our
> China-buster, I'd like to get our workforce figured out. We have people
> over here, too, who are waiting to here who does what. If you guys can
> handle all of it, that's fine with me, though.
> Just so you know--I'd been in touch with the head of VIP, a China
> newsletter in Washington. That's the publication that Lin Hai was arrested
> for sending email addresses to. He's heard of a project that is using a
> similar strategy to ours, but its going to be doomed to failure, I'm
> afraid. They're strategy is to use domains registered from free-domain
> sites. The problem with this is that none of those sites are that popular
> and the Chinese will ban all dozen or two dozen of them without even
> blinking and never miss a thing. Our strategy, however, of proliferating
> users from as many IPs as there are users, should really work.
> The project name we've adopted for this thing is "Red Rover"--(remember we
> talked in the hotel about the name difficulties we were having over this?
> Doesn't mean the application has to be called this, but for now, its a
> name.
> Let me know where/when/if I can call you in the next week, and any updates
> you can give me about how many people you think can go to work on this,
> what resources you need, and how long it would take, I'd love to know.
> Its entirely possible this thing can be running by the end of the
> year--I'd love to work for that if your people have the time to devote.
> All the best,
> Alan
> ---------------------------------------------------
> Alan Brown
> Director of Internet Development
> Digital Freedom Network
> 520 Broad Street
> Newark, NJ 07102-3111
> 201/928-4365

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