back to article Lantern lights the way to web freedom for Great Firewall prisoners

A Washington-backed peer-to-peer site designed to push holes through China’s Great Firewall has managed to accrue nearly 10,000 followers in the past fortnight. Lantern was not built specifically for China, but such is the appetite for unfettered internet access in the People’s Republic that around three-quarters of its users …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It puzzles me to imagine why China doesn't simply trace and prosecute anyone who uses encryption of any type (except perhaps to known and vetted sites). Even stego can be severely restricted by magic number detection (to reduce the chances of slipping payloads in binary packages).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US state department funding?

    "His new project has been given US$2.2 million (£1.3m) in seed funding by the US State Department, according to the paper."

    US taxpayers must be pleased: They pay for the biggest, most pervasive spying programme in history, AND they now pay for somebody trying to shield other people from their own government's surveillance.

    Do the Feds want to establish a new amendment, that "The people uphold their right to be spied upon by the government of the United States, but uphold the rights on non-Americans to freedom from similar surveillance".

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: US state department funding?

      Agreed, the irony is unbearable.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: US state department funding?

        Merkins don't do irony, except insofar as it pertains to things made of iron...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: US state department funding?

      Err and you think this is not being used as a means to spy on them by the US?

      That is about a naive as thinking a huge amount of proxies are not run by government agencies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: US state department funding?

        "Err and you think this is not being used as a means to spy on them by the US?"

        Don't be daft, of course we're all aware that the NSA would be slurping this lot as well - it's the only reason for doing it. But I think your comment shows that you fall into the category noted earlier of those who think irony pertains to things made of Fe.

    3. Terry Cloth

      Not surveillance-free (see article, para. 7)

      It only allows people to slip through the firewall. Big Brother can still watch what's going on.

      Is it possible that China's citizens are less spied-upon than the US's?

  3. Gordon 10

    The funding will soon be withdrawn

    When the State Department realises it will allow people to bypass the the western worlds own censorship regimes.

    No doubt with an "Paedo/Terrorist/Criminal" excuse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The funding will soon be withdrawn

      Perhaps it should be UN sponsored.

    2. CAPS LOCK

      Re: The funding will soon be withdrawn

      Even the US government aren't stupid enough to create a surveillance resistant network that they can't easily spy on themselves again.

  4. Tony Paulazzo

    Uh, hello, hello?

    Oh, hi kettle, this is pot. Black!

    Tho' from reading the article, will it protect from spying? if the Chinese government can, I'm sure the US & UK will join in. We really need a (Star Trek nerd reference coming up), fractal encryption key to be released into the wild - who's gonna break Gods own invention?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lantern is a safe and secure

    as it was designed by the NSA's cream of the cream.

  6. Evan Essence

    Not a software

    Lantern is not a software, because there's no such thing in English. The voiceover is American... maybe they should have had someone Chinese write the script, because I expect they teach English to a higher standard in China.

    p. s. Reg: They said “bring light to corruption and injustice”.

  7. Vimes

    I wonder if this could be used here by kids seeking to evade the poorly thought through filters brought in by Dave 'ignore-the-fact-I-forgot-my-daughter-in-the-pub' Cameron?

  8. i like crisps
    Big Brother

    Dear Chinese people.... not trust the "Round-Eyes".

  9. wikkity


    I'm sure if my internet access was restricted getting onto facebook is going to be the last site I'd visit (actually it is even with unrestricted access). Besides, surely the powers that be could easily see who has been updating their facebook profile to identify people getting around the firewall?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    some countries have firewalls blocking certain content and it is deemed acceptable to help those people access it.

    Wonder if the same would be said about the firewall ever encroaching on the UK's internet connection.

    Starts with blocks to Pirate Bay and pedo sites (the latter of which I am not complaining about).

    Next is extremist sites:

    One day we may need something like this ourselves.

  11. IglooDude

    Sure, they can't monitor the traffic, if China's Great Firewall is blocking it all. *sigh*

  12. Old Handle

    I can't help but wonder if the goal here is to create a new censorship-resistant network with less emphasis on anonymity compared to Tor, I2P or Freenet. Since the US is more interested in spying than censoring, I can see where something like that might be appealing.

    1. Charles 9

      But don't the two go hand in hand since one of the big concerns with blowing a whistle is being found out by who you're blowing the whistle on? And once they can say you dissed them, rubber hoses follow. Thus the only safe way to blow a whistle is to do it in such a way that no one can prove who said it.

  13. ops4096

    Honeypot ?

    Sounds to me like a honeypot which will allow the NSA to identify, support and subvert dissidents.

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