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DEPLOYING CENSORSHIP CIRCUMVENTION IN THE NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE

MAY 9, 2019 | THE HENRY HOTEL, DEARBORN

Presentation Abstract:

Censors block websites. Users circumvent with proxies. Censors block proxies.

In this talk, we will describe an emerging proxy technology, called Refraction Networking, designed to be harder for censors to block than existing proxies. Instead of using individual proxy hosts that are easy to block, Refraction Networking places proxies in the network at participating ISPs. Users connect to innocuous websites whose connections pass the ISP proxy, which can invisibly redirect the user’s traffic to their intended (blocked) destination. To the censor, the user-proxy communication appears indistinguishable from legitimate traffic, making it difficult for them to block.

Over the past several years, a group of researchers have been working to deploy the first Refraction Networking proxies in production networks and provide service to real users in censored countries. We will describe our existing deployment, initial results, and the future of the project.

Eric Wustrow is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work focuses on building and attacking secure systems that users rely on for privacy and autonomy. Eric’s research includes developing new censorship circumvention systems that combat online government censorship, studying the security and deployment of popular cryptographic protocols such as TLS, and creating new ways to efficiently perform Internet-wide measurements.