November 27, 2006

Psiphon vs. COPA - "When Titans Clash"

NYT: Web Tool Said to Offer Way Past the Government Censor (about Psiphon)

TORONTO, Nov. 21 -- Deep in a basement lab at the University of Toronto a team of political scientists, software engineers and computer-hacking activists, or "hactivists," have created the latest, and some say most advanced tool yet in allowing Internet users to circumvent government censorship of the Web.

... "Governments have militarized their censorship efforts to an incredible extent so we're trying to reverse some of that and restore that promise that the Internet once had for unfettered access and communication," Dr. [Ron] Deibert said.

Now let's compare Ed Felten's testimony in the "COPA" trial:

Q. ... I want to discuss with you the ease which filters can be circumvented. Do you have an opinion regarding the ease with which minors can circumvent Internet filtering technology?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What is your opinion?

A. My opinion is that it's quite difficult for minors to circumvent filters.

[Later ...]

There are some other methods in which the user could try to set up their own intermediary site on some other computer, and that turns out to be fraught with all kinds of technical difficulties. You really have to have a lot of facility with installing and configuring networking software in order to have any hope of getting that to work in practice.

Now, of course, both might agree that's the current state of affairs.

But either changing that state of affairs will succeed, in which case one of the pro-censorware arguments against the "Child Online Protection Act" will then be invalidated. Or it will fail, in which case, you can censor the Internet.

Pick one (and don't shoot the messenger).

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in censorware , copa | on November 27, 2006 09:33 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Seht, wrt to the labrats in Toroto, were you refeeing to OnionRing (TOR project) ??

Posted by: /pd at November 27, 2006 04:00 PM

"Psiphon" - see link on the first line of the post.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at November 28, 2006 12:30 AM