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Friday, January 28, 2011

Piercing through the Egyptian Internet void

The recent events in Egypt defy every sense of convention. Not only because they defy openly a well organized dictatorship that has stood well for three decades, but for the shutdown of the Internet window to the country. It seems that a well organized regime knows the power of the Internet and has shutdown communications. Egypt being connected via a relative small number of cables, was an easy target for a total shutdown...Or was it not total?

There is one total truth or constant in this world. Collective will is very persistent. And can pierce through even the most closed environments. Here is how...

Thanks to Satellite providers who were not largely affected by this (some businesses still need to run), Open Source and creativity, the above architecture is currently routing a small (but yet substantial) 120 Kbits/sec bi-directional tap to the Internet. Wi-fi routers connected to a Squid proxy server (to preserve a bit of bandwidth and cache static material). The proxy server interfaces to a mobile C band station of a provider (no names at the moment) and sets up a simple SSH Tunnel with SSH port forwarding all the way to another continent. There a receiving Linux server plays the role of a TOR gateway to the Internet (anonymity and confidentiality of connections is important).

Thanks to all those involved to bring this into power... More info to come, but it is quite satisfying to give voice to people that need to say things so much at this moment :-)

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