Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Getting Around Proxy Servers

I have discussed this before, but with the events going on in Iran I will open this discussion again.

One frequent tactic totalitarian states use to restrict access to certain websites is to make everyone access the web via proxy server. Those proxy servers can then be used to restrict and monitor web traffic.

Here is a tactic I used to get around proxy servers. It has its limitations, but it should work and provide inconspicuous access to websites.

Here are the conditions that need to be in place for this to work:'

  1. You have access to an internet account elsewhere in the world that does not have proxied web access.

  2. You can access that account through either telnet or secure shell, remote desktop, or similar.

  3. The account has all the standard Unix/Linux programs utilities.

Now what you need to do next is to get online and then connect to your foreign account. Once you have done that, you should be able to surf freely. Usually you will be using a low bandwidth access method such as telnet or SSH so you will have to use a text browser and that is lynx. You will not be able to see images but you should be able to submit forms & download images and files.

Using a client & protocol such as secure shell provides even more security as the traffic is encrypted with telnet data is not encrypted meaning Iranian thugs can read your traffic (though it will not appear like web traffic), I am guessing remote desktop will be mixed secure & insecure (plus remote desktop will not be lite in terms of bandwidth needs).