Psiphon, an Internet censorship evading software project developed by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab has been deemed “the world’s most original, significant and exemplary Net and Digital Initiative” by a panel of French and international government, media and business experts. Psiphon was chosen first among 100 technology projects from around the world that were nominated for the Netxplorateur of the Year Grand Prix award.
I remember when catsy was working on this. I tried out a copy back in the summer of 2003. I can’t believe it was that long ago, and yes, it was cooler than all get out, but I had no idea that it would be sen as “the world’s most original, significant and exemplary Net and Digital Initiative”. My students are watching Catsy’s video presentation made to my class in 2005, and so this is timely. Congrats Catsy, Nart and the Citlab crew!
Psiphon works by leveraging the Internet and social networks of trust that span censored and uncensored jurisdictions. Those with friends, family or colleagues in censored countries download the small psiphon application on their home computers and then give the unique connection information to their psiphon node to those living behind firewalled jurisdictions. Instead of attempting to access banned content directly, users of psiphon connect to the psiphon nodes over an encrypted channel and use them to surf the Web instead. As each psiphon node is private, encrypted, and separate from each other, the system as a whole is virtually impossible for authorities to discover and block.