Wanted: volunteers with bandwidth/storage to help save climate data

Royce Williams royce at techsolvency.com
Thu Dec 22 04:16:14 UTC 2016

On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 7:08 AM, Royce Williams <royce at techsolvency.com> wrote:


> IMO, *operational, politics-free* discussion of items like these would
> also be on topic for NANOG:
> - Some *operational* workarounds for country-wide blocking of
> Facebook, Whatsapp, and Twitter [1], or Signal [2]


> 2. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/12/20/world/middleeast/ap-ml-egypt-app-blocked.html

Steering things back towards the operational, the makers of Signal
announced today [1] an update to Signal with a workaround for the
blocking that I noted earlier. Support in iOS is still in beta.

The technique (which was new to me) is called 'domain fronting' [2].
It works by distributing TLS-based components among domains for which
blocking would cause wide-sweeping collateral damage if blocked (such
as Google, Amazon S3, Akamai, etc.), making blocking less attractive.
Since it's TLS, the Signal connections cannot be differentiated from
other services in those domains.

Signal's implementation of domain fronting is currently limited to
countries where the blocking has been observed, but their post says
that they're ramping up to make it available more broadly, and to
automatically enable the feature when non-local phone numbers travel
into areas subject to blocking.

The cited domain-fronting paper [2] was co-authored by David Fifield,
who has worked on nmap and Tor.


1. https://whispersystems.org/blog/doodles-stickers-censorship/
2. http://www.icir.org/vern/papers/meek-PETS-2015.pdf

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