US company defeats Brit RIP Act
And French Nazi filters, too
Anonymous Web-surfing outfit SafeWeb has just expanded its secure server facilities in New York so that Europeans can enjoy faster access to private, and virtually anonymous, Web browsing and e-mail.
SafeWeb's proxy servers encrypt all data transmitted between an individual's computer and the Web sites visited, once they've logged on to the service. Thus the only information one's ISP can record, hence cough up to nosey Feds, is the fact that one accessed the SafeWeb site.
Web-based e-mail accounts are available, which also encrypt all data. SafeWeb's free browsing gateway uses 128-bit SSL, automatically disables cookies and scripts, and hides the surfer's IP.
The only fly in the ointment here is that one's browser may cache requested pages locally, making them available for inspection by nosey co-users and administrators.
SafeWeb is in the process of dealing with this, and will within one or two weeks' time have that solved by encrypting URLs stored in the browser's history. Naturally, privacy will be enhanced if the browser is set up with page caching disabled.
The company also has an application called Triangle Boy, which adds an extra layer of security for the truly paranoid and further obstacles and frustrations for investigators and censors.
Triangle Boy is a randomly-distributed network of boxes, made available by volunteers with fat pipes, which forwards users to the SafeWeb portal.
It's a free, open source, peer-to-peer application that the company says will bypass firewalls and other mechanisms that attempt to block access to SafeWeb. Users who are currently blocked from SafeWeb (or any other site) will be able to access it indirectly through any other computer running Triangle Boy.
Requests are transmitted to SafeWeb via Triangle Boy, but Web content is returned to the user via spoofed packets. Encryption keys are exchanged between the surfer and SafeWeb so the T'Boy intermediate box is unable to intercept traffic.
A digital certificate scheme alerts users to decoy T'Boy boxes -- not that the Feds would ever dream of employing such a cheesy trick.
Because the T'Boy boxes are distributed randomly, it is virtually impossible for any government authority to defeat the scheme with filtering, firewalls or surveillance hardware -- meaning that Netizens in notoriously authoritarian countries like China, Afghanistan and Britain, say, will be able to access whatever they please on the Web and leave no trace of their comings and goings. ®
Triangle Boy URLs
Sponsored: Protecting mobile certificates