Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

New Technique Developed to Avoid Internet Censorship

New Technique Developed to Avoid Internet Censorship

Tuesday, 19 November, 2019 - 07:15
A woman uses her phone on an observation deck as the skyline, shrouded by haze, is seen in Singapore September 13, 2019. (Reuters)

A new technique developed by researchers from the University of Maryland (UMD) can help avoid Internet censorship imposed by authoritarian governments to prohibit free and open access to information.

According to the website, a tool called Geneva, tested in China, India and Kazakhstan, found dozens of ways to circumvent censorship by exploiting gaps in censors' logic and finding bugs that the researchers say would have been virtually impossible for humans to find manually.

Dave Levin, computer science researcher at UMD, said: "With Geneva, we are, for the first time, at a major advantage in the censorship arms race."

"Winning this race means bringing free speech and open communication to millions of users around the world who currently do not have them."

Information on the internet is broken into data packets by the sender's computer and reassembled by the receiving computer.

The programs of internet censorship monitor the data packets sent during an internet search and block requests that either contain flagged keywords (such as "Tiananmen Square" in China) or prohibited domain names (such as "Wikipedia" in many countries), the German news agency reported.

Editor Picks