back to article China's anti-censor software pimps user data

Harvard researchers have accused the developers of tools for dodging the Great Firewall of China of selling data harvested by the software, potentially giving the authorities in Beijing an easy way to identify dissidents. As well as selling aggregate usage data, software developers were also offering to sell detailed surfing …


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  1. A J Stiles

    One way to find out

    There is exactly one way to find out what software really does:

    Read the Source Code.

    How many times need anybody say this before somebody does something about it?

  2. Lionel Baden

    what exactly

    are they censoring anyway ?? Kiddie pron ? or just wikipedia

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Anything They Want

    "what exactly are they censoring anyway ?? Kiddie pron ? or just wikipedia"

    They censor anything that they consider "politically sensitive." Anything that deals with Falun Gong, The Tiananmen Square Massacre, freedom, democracy, etc... They also censor ALL forms of porn and pretty much anything they want. They use IP blocking, content filtering, and human censors. If you're loud enough you could earn yourself a lengthy sentence in a labor camp just for blogging. It's ridiculous that these companies would even keep that data, let alone sell it.

    China today. UK and Australia tomorrow?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Like the "screening" comment

    "data that can be used to identify a specific user are considered confidential and not shared with third parties unless you pass our strict screening test"

    Translation: "Can you write this large number on a cheque and send it to us?"

  5. Doug Southworth
    Thumb Up


    "a poorly-worded FAQ, which has since been amended, has been misinterpreted"

    Hate it when that happens. I'm sure it was a simple slip up, and not the work of a disgruntled employee with an axe to grind about his employers questionable data storage and sale policies.

    I'm equally as sure that said employee still has a job...and kneecaps...and thumbs.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Selling data you say?

    I"ll be getting my coat now.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Use Tor.

    The theoretical limitations of Tor against an adversary who can simultaneously observe all traffic everywhere on the entire internet are insignificant compared to the very real risk of leaving your privacy and security in the hands of a private corporation. You have to know how to use it - SSL out, to avoid corrupt exit nodes, make sure you've got flash and script blocked, and avoid DNS leakage, but if you drive it carefully Tor is as near to unbreakable as it gets. (Note: as a client or router. Running hidden services is a good deal more exposed).

  8. Cucumber C Face
    Paris Hilton

    Colour me unamazed

    Does any commercial anonymiser/proxy service not state up front that it will "cooperate fully with the authorities" in the investigation of specified or unspecified offences? Mysteriously they can do this even when they claim not to keep logs.

    They also have acceptable use policies (involving behaviour and content not just bandwidth usage). This begs the question of how they would know that you are spammer / terrorist / Leader of the Gang / fly tipper etc.

    Paris - because she understands there is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet

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