Yaba Yaba

what? another blog? you must be joking.

SOS – geeks needed!

with 3 comments

Update, June 16

Important! read #iranelection cyberwar guide for beginners

and How to setup a proxy for Iran citizens (for Windows!)

I’ve removed the gadget from my sidebar.

Original post

Iranian protesters are using any means possible to co-ordinate actions, gather and share intelligence, and provide the world with a constant stream of documented real-time information. They are twittering live from the clashes in the student halls and the protests on the street, posting images and videos of events as they unfold.

The Iranian authorities are doing all they can to block communications. SMS is blocked, websites hacked or firewalled, TV and Radio are obviously useless.

The protesters need constant supply of proxy servers. These servers are used to bypass the government blocks on Internet sites and messaging services. Of course, once the addresses of these servers are made public, its only a matter of time until the government blocks them. So its a constant race. There’s a chicken & egg problem here, in order to get the proxy server addresses you need to have an open communication channel.

Many people are using twitter to share the addresses of proxies as they emerge. What we need is a mechanism which would allow mass sharing of these numbers. Here’s a simple scenario: someone sets up a service which collects proxy server announcements from twitter and posts them on a site, with an outgoing RSS feed. that feed can then be syndicated and embedded in any site around the world, thus replicating the information and making it hard for the goverment to block it.

Should be easy for someone with the right skills & infrastructure, no?


I just posted this idea on twitter, and within 2 minutes got a response:

@yishaym Would this search/feed be useful to you:


Yes! thanks – see my new sidebar.

Update 2

@PsiphonInc says:

#Psiphon proxy node for #iranelection http://digg.com/u15jQN No download Just click&surf w/out #censorship

also, see comment about TOR

Written by yishaym

June 15, 2009 at 1:13 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Tell people to us TOR https://www.torproject.org/vidalia/

    Under normal circumstances it’s frustratingly slow, but in this case it’s probably better than passing around proxies which may stop working, and definitely safer.

    On top of that it can be understood and installed within minutes by anyone who’s computer literate.


    June 15, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    • tx, but doesn’t TOR require an reliable network to start with? How does it solve the problem? Please provide SLOW explanation for non-techies. Remember, there are people in the streets who need to figure this out while evading tear gas, and have probably never installed more than a twitter client on their mobile.


      June 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm

      • I once used tor on dial up back when it still wasn’t clear if freenet and tor and such were going to take off (they didn’t really but they’re still functionable). If it works it would be quite slow, but the trade off is users wouldn’t need to keep switching between proxies, plus added security like I mentioned.

        Anyone running any form of firefox should be able to use this and the ‘torbutton’ firefox add-on. I can’t say if it would work any better but if anyone feels so inclined it would probably be worth a try; if only to take the burden off of confirmed proxies.

        1) Use a device or notebook with firefox (not necesarry, but it will be easier for a novice than setting up another browser manually)

        2) Download and install the tor + privoxy vidalia pack https://www.torproject.org/vidalia/

        3) Install the tor button extension https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2275

        Or alternatively set up your tor node manually if you have the savvy for it and/or can’t use firefox.

        4) Start vidalia, enable the tor button (or manual setup), and start browsing.

        I haven’t tried it but I believe tor can be used to connect through mobile devices, however I’m afraid I can’t help there.

        I hope some of this helps somehow, I feel rather impotent about the situation so I’m trying to help in any little way I can. Even if it doesn’t prove useful right now tor could perhaps at least help some opposition supporters communicate safely in the future.


        June 16, 2009 at 2:40 am

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