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Circumvention Report

Hal Roberts, Ethan Zuckerman, and John Palfrey have released a careful report they wrote in 2007 about the tools and techniques for circumventing filtering of sites. Although some of the particular evaluations of tools are out of date now, the general explanations and evaluations are still trenchant. From the announcement of the report’s publication:

The authors find that all of the tools use the same basic mechanisms of proxying and encryption but that they differ in their models of hosting proxies. Some tools use proxies that are centrally hosted, others use proxies that are peer hosted, and others use re-routing methods that use a combination of the two. The authors find that, in general, the tools work in the sense that they allow users to access pages that are otherwise blocked by filtering countries but that performance of the tools is generally poor and that many tools have significant, unreported security vulnerabilities. Responses from developers of the tools in question are included in the report.

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