Human rights activists and free speech advocates have every reason to worry about the future of an open and uncensored internet, but researchers from the University of Michigan and the University of Waterloo have come up with a new tool that may help put their fears to rest. Their system, called Telex, proposes to circumvent government censors by using some clever cryptographic techniques. Unlike similar schemes, which typically require users to deploy secret IP addresses and encryption keys, Telex would only ask that they download a piece of software. With the program onboard, users in firewalled countries would then be able to visit blacklisted sites by establishing a decoy connection to any unblocked address. The software would automatically recognize this connection as a Telex request and tag it with a secret code visible only to participating ISPs, which could then divert these requests to banned sites. By essentially creating a proxy server without an IP address, the concept could make verboten connections more difficult to trace, but it would still rely upon the cooperation of many ISPs stationed outside the country in question — which could pose a significant obstacle to its realization. At this point, Telex is still in a proof-of-concept phase, but you can find out more in the full press release, after the break.
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