Visible to the public TWC: Medium: Collaborative: Hiding Hay in a Haystack: Integrating Censorship Resistance into the Mainstream InternetConflict Detection Enabled

Project Details

Performance Period

Sep 01, 2014 - Aug 31, 2018


Yale University

Award Number

Freedom and openness of the Internet are under threat. Government censors in non-democratic countries are deploying network filters to block sources of uncensored information, suppress dissent, and prevent citizens from using the Internet to exercise their human rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

This project aims to deliver robust censorship-resistant communication systems for today's and future Internet. The main principle behind this research is that censorship resistance must cease being an ad-hoc, add-on component and instead become a first-class property of the networking infrastructure. In contrast to the existing circumvention tools, which are easy to recognize and block, censoring the communication technologies developed by this project comes at a significant technical, economic, and social cost to the would-be censors.

The project encompasses several research thrusts. The first thrust is integrating support for censorship-resistant communications directly into popular networked services (for example, cloud storage and streaming video) that already provide encrypted channels and cannot be easily blocked without causing significant disruption. The second thrust is devoted to new multi-streaming transport protocols and ubiquitous proxying systems that, by design, hide the contents of transmitted information and thus resist censorship. The third thrust is the study of censorship risks in future Internet architectures, as well as the design and implementation of censorship resistance mechanisms for these architectures.

In summary, this project aims to produce censorship-resistant communication systems and networking protocols that help make free Internet accessible to millions of potential users, encouraging and fostering democracy and human rights throughout the world.