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#1 2012-03-18 20:44:18

lava
Member

Seven proxies

[Split from Colossalcon 2012]

Corejo wrote:

/clicks on the colossalcon link...

"Blocked Website
Your access to the following website was blocked:

http://colossalcon.com/

Blocked Reason:
Category: Pornography

Found by: URL Database"

Gotta love University internet.

What school do you go to? Ohio State doesn't play those kinds of games with people's connections, although it's rumored they play Big Brother if you're in the dorms. Aside from Wikileaks for a while, I can't think of anything they outright blocked. Led to much... *decoration* around the dorm suite, which I had to explain to my mother when she visited...

That said, you might want to give Tor a try if your college IT folks insist on being... dicks.

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#2 2012-03-18 21:39:10

lilmissmaya
Member

Re: Seven proxies

yeah, other then monitoring bit torrent, ohio state doesn't really care what you look at.

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#3 2012-03-19 09:38:31

Corejo
Member

Re: Seven proxies

lava wrote:
Corejo wrote:

/clicks on the colossalcon link...

"Blocked Website
Your access to the following website was blocked:

http://colossalcon.com/

Blocked Reason:
Category: Pornography

Found by: URL Database"

Gotta love University internet.

What school do you go to? Ohio State doesn't play those kinds of games with people's connections, although it's rumored they play Big Brother if you're in the dorms. Aside from Wikileaks for a while, I can't think of anything they outright blocked. Led to much... *decoration* around the dorm suite, which I had to explain to my mother when she visited...

That said, you might want to give Tor a try if your college IT folks insist on being... dicks.

Walsh University.  They also block everything from ponybooru   D:

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#4 2012-03-19 16:35:12

lava
Member

Re: Seven proxies

lilmissmaya wrote:

yeah, other then monitoring bit torrent, ohio state doesn't really care what you look at.

How exactly do they do that? Have they ever wrongly accused someone of illegal file sharing (e.g. Linux ISOs, DefCon videos, etc.)?

Corejo wrote:

Walsh University.  They also block everything from ponybooru   D:

Sounds like you have an anti-brony there. Might want to give Tor a try, since it's specifically designed for sidestepping those kinds of games (and keeping human rights activists anonymous). They might be specifically monitoring for pony-related sites, under the assumption that "brony = pedophile", in which case it won't be long before they block you from here too.

Last edited by lava (2012-03-19 16:37:38)

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#5 2012-03-19 17:10:46

Jinzo
The veteran of many pretend wars

Re: Seven proxies

You can get past any firewall with just a little finagling. This does depend on how smart your University IT dept is though. It can be as simple as just using something like http://hidemyass.com or a tunnel or even setting a PC somewhere with a non firewalled connection and using VNC to browse the internet. There is also getting a high quality wifi antenna to see if there any free hotspots. When I was in college I ended up stealing WiFi from a Starbucks near campus.

Also Tor is a good option but however most IT Pros know about it and block it off the bat.

It sounds like that OSU has a shoot first ask questions later policy on torrents. It would be near impossible to monitor traffic on the ports that any torrent client uses. Its just easier to block commonly used ports for torrents.

Last edited by Jinzo (2012-03-19 17:17:30)


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#6 2012-03-19 18:34:36

Star ★
Pony
Starshine Trotter

Re: Seven proxies

Tor, to many IT techs, is also synonymous with various illicit activities. Not to mention it's godawful slow. I upgraded to a 56k modem back in the 90s, and I have never wanted to relive what the net was like before then. tongue

If bucked.org ever gets blocked, lemme know and I'll harass them. There's no reason for it to be.

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#7 2012-03-19 19:22:26

lilmissmaya
Member

Re: Seven proxies

all I know is I got busted for seeding a three doors down cd while downloading stuff on a bit torrent client and I got an email saying "don't do it again or you won't be able to use the university internet anymore"

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#8 2012-03-20 17:55:35

lava
Member

Re: Seven proxies

Jinzo wrote:

You can get past any firewall with just a little finagling. This does depend on how smart your University IT dept is though. It can be as simple as just using something like http://hidemyass.com or a tunnel or even setting a PC somewhere with a non firewalled connection and using VNC to browse the internet. There is also getting a high quality wifi antenna to see if there any free hotspots. When I was in college I ended up stealing WiFi from a Starbucks near campus.

I would just open up port 5900 (or even better install Cygwin for an SSH server), instead of disabling the firewall completely. Also, VNC is even slower than Tor for that kind of thing; you want to use an SSH SOCKS5 proxy instead.

Jinzo wrote:

Also Tor is a good option but however most IT Pros know about it and block it off the bat.

Starshine wrote:

Tor, to many IT techs, is also synonymous with various illicit activities.

Tor is also specifically designed to be used in national regimes where its use is illegal and port blocking, DNS cache poisoning, and IP blacklists are normative, and it's built to get around that. It's run, in part, by Chinese dissidents, and you could make it look like website connection over SSL if you had to. I think you can do the same with torrents too. Also, as an IT tech I'd personally be more likely to equate Freenet with illicit activity, but generally leave it alone unless I had a good reason to muck around, but maybe that's just me (and the attitude where I work). I haven't really researched Freenet too thoroughly, but one of its key features is an "undernet" where you can host web services on Freenet that can only be accessed from Freenet, and they're actually stored on encrypted volumes on random people's hard drives who run Freenet servers. Those hidden services are effectively impossible to locate or take down. Obviously it can be used for benign purposes, but  I would expect a really nasty person to start with Freenet instead of Tor.

Jinzo wrote:

It sounds like that OSU has a shoot first ask questions later policy on torrents. It would be near impossible to monitor traffic on the ports that any torrent client uses. Its just easier to block commonly used ports for torrents.

I've run bittorrent on OSU's network (only stuff like Linux ISOs and DefCon videos) and they didn't complain. I've heard of other people getting complaints, but was curious what criteria they used to determine whether someone was a pirate since ISPs often wrongfully accuse people. They don't block it as far as I know, but they do block SMTP to anything except their own servers, which if you try to use your OSU address with you'll get an SMTP protocol error message reminding you to sign up for Live Mail and your message rejected. When I asked about it, they sent a rather rude e-mail back saying I'm only allowed to use OSU's e-mail services, (which always get spam filtered) but refused to cite any written policy. Also they have all inbound ports blocked, but every so often they think something is blocked which isn't (ask me later about my friend who ran a web server from his dorm). Other than the dorms, OSU is generally pretty hands-off though, and most colleges have it worse.

Starshine wrote:

If bucked.org ever gets blocked, lemme know and I'll harass them. There's no reason for it to be.

Have fun with that, and be sure to let us know how it goes. According to their website, his school is Catholic. They might think you're the devil trying to promote bestiality or something...

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#9 2012-03-20 19:43:14

Star ★
Pony
Starshine Trotter

Re: Seven proxies

lava wrote:

I haven't really researched Freenet too thoroughly, but one of its key features is an "undernet" where you can host web services on Freenet that can only be accessed from Freenet, and they're actually stored on encrypted volumes on random people's hard drives who run Freenet servers.

Tor's got its .onion sites and similar such services as well.

Also, from what I've heard and read, Freenet is a less secure network on the whole. Then again, Tor was created by the US government, NSA has funded the project, and they also run a bunch of exit nodes.

I've played with both networks, farting around to see what they can do, but I don't trust either with a byte of my personal data.

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#10 2012-03-20 20:29:53

Jinzo
The veteran of many pretend wars

Re: Seven proxies

Yes Tor and VNC are pretty slow but if your just using it for an occasional site that's blocked  cause of dumb firewall rules its more then adequate. Also remember any solution it has to be for someone that would be not technologically inclined. I prefer solutions that would rarely have problems and just work then telling someone over and over how to use this. Sorry if it sounds bitter but i did phone support for Dell for while so you kinda know why I would say what I did.

And oh obligatory image
7proxies.PNG

Last edited by Jinzo (2012-03-20 20:32:14)


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#11 2012-03-20 20:34:41

Star ★
Pony
Starshine Trotter

Re: Seven proxies

Another relevant link: http://www.peacefire.org/

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#12 2012-03-20 20:36:14

chaoticpix93
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Re: Seven proxies

I think there was some kind of copyright lawsuit with Ohio state based off of torrenting traffic IIRC. Something about them filesharing... bla bla bla. I don't know. I use C'bus state and they're fine.


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#13 2012-03-20 21:24:15

eaglehooves
Procrastinating with ponies, again.

Re: Seven proxies

Not that this adds anything, but I've yet to find anything my university filters, but they do have a policy against bittorrent. Keeping your upload rate limited fairly low seems to get you under the radar though.


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#14 2012-03-20 23:03:52

lava
Member

Re: Seven proxies

Jinzo wrote:

Yes Tor and VNC are pretty slow but if your just using it for an occasional site that's blocked

VNC is slow because that's not how it was intended to be used. It's also most likely not secure; most VNC connections are unencrypted, which means the password you use to log into the remote computer is visible to anyone monitoring the network (not good if you're trying to hide from someone who might be monitoring your connection). SSH tunneling is fairly straightforward, as long as you're using Linux and are comfortable with configuring your program to use a SOCKS proxy and running a single command in a terminal, so probably not for a non-techie.

Tor, on the other hand, is pretty straightforward. You download the Vidalia portable app, open it, click the "connect" button, and do everything in the custom Firefox build that opens up with Tor. If it fails to connect, which happens sometimes, just restart it and it'll probably work better next time. You see, not all human rights activists who need this kind of tool are tech savvy, and the Tor project developers know this.

chaoticpix93 wrote:

I think there was some kind of copyright lawsuit with Ohio state based off of torrenting traffic IIRC. Something about them filesharing... bla bla bla. I don't know. I use C'bus state and they're fine.

It wasn't just OSU; a whole bunch of schools were affected. OSU is just one of the more conservative ones, and wasn't interested in defending their students from anything other than "poor diets" at restaurants they didn't own or "childish behavior" they might engage in if freshmen didn't live in the dorms. Other schools, such as Harvard law school, told the RIAA to take a hike (and they promptly backed off).

The RIAA went on a legal (extortion) campaign targeting universities and college students. See, college students are generally relatively poor, but with access to... delicious student loans. They also, like most kids and teenagers, download music. So, in monitoring bittorrents, the RIAA specifically looked for IP ranges that belonged to universities. They then sent universities blanket ex parte subpoenas, with the intention of discovering students' identities from that information. Once they knew who the students were, they proceeded to offer settlement letters, demanding payments of several thousand dollars and a binding contract that the student would never use software not "authorized" by them again. The idea was that students, for fear of massive damages, would immediately pay up and not bother fighting a large and powerful special interest group like the RIAA, because getting tons of $3-4 thousand checks at the expense of running a website and hotline was an excellent source of revenue, but actually taking the students to court and defending their copyright claims cost them more money than they made.

They even had a cute website that listed a hotline to settle your case by credit card. Those who didn't settle wer sued, with the precedent approaching $2 million in punitive fines (paid directly to the RIAA) for 24 songs. When calling the hotline, by all accounts students were routinely encouraged to pay the settlement with their student loans, then drop out of college, and told it was the most favorable decision for their life future.

Anyway, OSU, being the highly conservative school they were, established the unofficial policy of immediately providing all information they have (including SSN) corresponding to students' IP addresses when requested, and a shitstorm ensued as one of the students lawyered up. I don't know what OSU is doing now, and the RIAA claims, after public outcry for preying on college students, to have ended that campaign, but OSU is fighting hard to protect their DMCA safe harbor protections while avoiding criticism for indiscriminately cutting off students' internet access (which is often required for coursework).

Jinzo wrote:

I hope you didn't pay for that last one with your credit card...

Last edited by lava (2012-03-20 23:10:04)

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#15 2012-03-21 07:08:46

speedwagon
Member

Re: Seven proxies

Going to Tri-C ruled, they literally have it in their rules that they consider it a violation of first amendment rights to monitor anything anyone does on their connection. No joke, most of the professors I knew (at least the IT ones) downloaded stuff of bittorrent constantly, and when I was finishing school and couldn't afford to get Internet access in my apartment, I would spend the couple hours between two classes filling up a 4GB flash drive with anime from megaupload links on a daily basis. I think they maybe had a rule against watching porn in the library.

Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood in here a bit.

Last edited by speedwagon (2012-03-21 07:10:52)

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#16 2012-03-21 13:41:00

lava
Member

Re: Seven proxies

speedwagon wrote:

Going to Tri-C ruled, they literally have it in their rules that they consider it a violation of first amendment rights to monitor anything anyone does on their connection.

Interesting. Unless we're talking about the blocking Twitter with the intention of disrupting peaceful protestors, the first amendment says nothing about privacy. It basically says right to assemble, free speech, government listens to petitions, and neutrality on religion. Are you sure it's not the 4th amendment, which is the right against unreasonable searches and seizures without probable cause and due process?

speedwagon wrote:

No joke, most of the professors I knew (at least the IT ones) downloaded stuff of bittorrent constantly,

Let me let you in on a little secret: professors generally have it better than students with regard to IT support. They're the ones with the political influence at the university, while students are just sources of revenue. I am not in any way speaking on behalf of my employer or organization.

speedwagon wrote:

I think they maybe had a rule against watching porn in the library.

Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood in here a bit.

So, *ahem* did you have to wait until you got home to see if you grabbed the right... umm... kind? Then go back tomorrow and... try again?

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#17 2012-03-21 14:49:50

eaglehooves
Procrastinating with ponies, again.

Re: Seven proxies

lava wrote:

Let me let you in on a little secret: professors generally have it better than students with regard to IT support. They're the ones with the political influence at the university, while students are just sources of revenue. I am not in any way speaking on behalf of my employer or organization.

Hm... For personally owned systems we have sorta the opposite. I work/study with the IT department, and I can give other students just about anything in the way of volume licensed software, but professors only can get it if the computer is owned by the university (and they all love their non-standard, highly unreliable laptops). Other than that, they get treated about the same

University owned systems do tend to get better support, but that's also because they only buy two lines (one desktop and one laptop, both from the same manufacturer) and only one OS (Win7). They also get more space on the backup server if we need to do a clean install, but since all the departments have their own lab and data servers and whatnot they backup to, there's rarely enough data locally to get even close to the limit.

As for network stuff, I have no idea how IT handles that, things never seem to get fixed. People I know who torrent (including a number of the hardware support guys) never get caught, the wifi dead spots never get better, and the same quirks that make the 'secure' wifi so secure half the student body can't connect never get patched.

Also, I feel this keeps drifting further and further from where it started, and I'm not helping.

Last edited by eaglehooves (2012-03-21 14:51:37)


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#18 2012-03-21 16:31:26

Star ★
Pony
Starshine Trotter

Re: Seven proxies

Regarding students vs. professors and being able to do stuff: in most places, the policies tend towards the profs being more restricted because what they do with university property and/or network connections represents the university. It varies though, obviously.

There's precedent for the First Amendment to be used on both ends in court: while it's certainly a violation of your rights to be denied the ability to send a message, it's also been contested many times in courts that it is also a violation of your rights to be denied the ability to read something. See here, here, and here for example. 

eaglehooves wrote:

Also, I feel this keeps drifting further and further from where it started, and I'm not helping.

That's why I split this into a separate topic. Let it drift, good sir, let it drift.

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#19 2012-03-21 18:22:28

Jinzo
The veteran of many pretend wars

Re: Seven proxies

The internet is akin to a 13 year old child with ADHD and having about 10 pounds of sugar in its system.


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