Haystack: masks Iranian activist traffic as being innocuous

Haystack. The anti-censorship software is built on a sophisticated mathematical formula that conceals someone’s real online destinations inside a stream of innocuous traffic. You may be browsing an opposition Web site, but to the censors it will appear you are visiting, say, weather.com. Heap tends to hide users in content that is popular in Tehran, sometimes the regime’s own government mouthpieces. Haystack is a step forward for activists working in repressive environments. Other anti-censorship programs—such as Tor, Psiphon, or Freegate—can successfully hide someone’s identity, but censors are able to detect that these programs are being run and then work to disable the communication. With Haystack, the censors aren’t even aware the software is in use. “Haystack captures all outgoing connections, encrypts them, and then masquerades the data as something else,” explains Heap. “If you want to block Haystack, you are gonna block yourself.”

via Computer Programmer Takes On the World’s Despots – Newsweek.

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