youtube-banned

Age Verification Starts with YouTube Music Videos

The UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport celebrated that YouTube and Vevo will be forcing age restrictions on music videos.

On one hand the Government claim;

Introducing age rating for all music videos online was a manifesto commitment – making the pilot permanent and working to extend this internationally by sharing our experience of the pilot is part of delivering this.

Yet on the other hand they claim that this is industry driven and the Government has nothing to do with it;

Regardless this policy is driving a message that parents can rely on Government meddling to protect their children from the evils of the Internet rather than encouraging them to actually talk and educate children themselves.

Also, and more worryingly, it is conditioning people that it’s OK to have to hand over biometrics to receive services, to surrender anonymity to access content online and that Government censorship is acceptable.

We wouldn’t be suprised if there comes a time when the UK Government can tag content on YouTube to require adults to be logged in with a registered and verified account to view ‘extreme’ material such as a GreenPeace anti-fracking video or citizen recorded footage of Police brutality. The chilling effect is obvious.

And, for those who plan to host content themselves or on Vimeo the Government will make good on the plan to block websites that don’t conform to their age-gating plans.

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Sony Email Leaks Shows Refusal To Fund PIPCU As Well As Conspiring With (and against) Government Ministers

Funding PIPCU

During a meeting on September 5th 2014 with Mike Weatherley (the Prime Minister’s IP Adviser) Sony noted that they and the MPAA were not pleased at the idea of being asked to fund PIPCU;

The potential (now likely) request for Rights Holders to contribute funds to support PIPCU will be limited to whatever the DCMS Minister (Sajid Javid) considers to be outside the definition of “policing”. So, for example, on-site assistance with review of evidence sent for the Advertising initiative, assistance with funding for training etc.

MPAA’s representative made clear that we are not pleased with the prospect of any contribution – and, at a subsequent meeting of the Alliance, it was confirmed that many other entities/groups endorse and will deliver the same view.

Following the news that the Government was going to fund PIPCU till 2017 Sony noted on October 23rd 2014 that

Note that the local UK/EU member company and MPA team have agreed already that we need to focus immediately on ensuring that Government funding continues beyond 2017 (assuming that PIPCU continues to be helpful) and also monitoring whatever spending review happens during and immediately after the 2015 election so that we don’t lose the current commitment.

That Sony considers that PIPCU may at some point no longer be helpful is interesting but such an assumption is a touch rude considering that in April 2014 Sony discovered that their ads were displaying on “rogue” sites thanks to a PIPCU seized site;

Despite these efforts and successes, there are still regular instances of Sony ads being placed on illegal sites, including an SEL ad (discovered during a domain seizure operation by the City of London Police) and two Playstation ads (discovered during web crawling initiatives by music trade associations RIAA and IFPI). Screen shots depicting these particular examples are attached here for your reference. We are aware of instances of poorly placed ads for SME’s music and SPE’s films as well. All of our companies have vulnerability in this area, and we’d like to work more closely together to ensure that Sony’s brand is supported by responsible ad practices across all of our companies.

Conspiring with (and against) Government Ministers

Elsewhere in the leaks one can see that Sony are cozy with Government Ministers at varying levels whom they’ll happily attempt to get fired;

… am sitting here with Bella and conspiring as to how to make you Minister of Culture and Sport. You are perfectly qualified. First step is to get ed Vaizey fired. I will do this with George Osborne. I will do this with George Osborne. Next step is to get you appointed. This requires you meeting CHARLES Dunstone and having him recommend you

It’s interesting to note that Charles Dunstone is the Chairman of TalkTalk Group who were the first ISP to deploy Huawei filtering hardware devices in their network and were one of the ISPs rumoured to be pushing for Default Filtering…

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Filters Are For Coffee – Not The Internet

Today is International Coffee Day so what better day to take the Open Rights Group tag line of “Filters Are For Coffee Not The Internet” and investigate the capabilities of the Internet filtering at various coffee locations.

Costa Coffee / Cafe Nero – O2 Wifi

DNS Spoofing: Partial
MiTM SSL: No
Deep Packet Inspection: Yes
Destination IP Transit Interference: Yes

O2 WiFi requires two-factor registration via a phone number and SMS claiming that it is a legal requirement. This is easily traversed with a disposable PAYG phone (e.g. EE have a Nokia 106 for £4.99 – an excellent option for a burner phone). Once you’ve completed the two-factor check (the first being they record your MAC address) you can start browsing.

The first thing to notice is that unlike their mobile offering the WiFi has several layers of filtering, some DNS queries are intercepted to send you to a block page and even if you resolve the A record out-of-band Squid will intercept and block.

If you manually query a 3rd party DNS server for the record in question then it appears to return normally.

This level of blocking however is hit and miss with domains such as the thepiratebay.se suffering the worst interference but others that are blocked by the default mobile filters aren’t blocked on the WiFi.

Thankfully all the usual bypass methods (Tor, RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk, SSH SOCKS5 tunnel and SSL) work flawlessly despite the use of Squid and DNS interference.

Interestingly O2 have chosen to force Google to not allow SSL searching (so they can inspect the content and block stuff) which also means anyone else in the coffee shop can spy on your browsing. DuckDuckGo.com does still offer SSL searching and isn’t blocked.

Breaking down an O2 Intercept

The packet capture for this attempt to hit http://reddit.com/r/nsfw is here, the pertinent part of the HTTP transfer is below;

GET /r/nsfw HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: curl/7.34.0
Host: reddit.com
Accept: */*

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:28:51 GMT
X-Template: blacklisted
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 195
Cache-Control: no-cache
X-Cache: MISS from Squid
Via: 1.1 Squid (squid/3.2.11)
Connection: keep-alive
< !DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=https://www.o2wifi.co.uk/pages/n4?bd=http://reddit.com:80/r/nsfw"/>
    <title></title>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Despite getting the correct A records back from the nameservers in packet 5 we can see in packets 12 onwards that the O2 Squid server (ironically the same software PacketFlagon.is uses to bypass censorship!) returns back some HTML with a meta refresh that instantly directs the browser to their block page.

As shown in this packet capture there is no IP/Host matching it is all done on the GET path and the Host header so Hosts files hacks won’t work either.

High Court blocks are solved using DNS and an attempt to resolve thepiratebay.se returns 127.0.0.1.

Finally some other blocks such as the block of torproject.org are achieved by just silently dropping the packets.

Starbucks – BT / Friendly WiFi

The people at Friendly WiFi appear to be quite zealous about blocking “pornography” and come out with ridiculous claims such as that by putting in their filtering one gets a “porn free city”

Thankfully their blocks are almost as easy to bypass as O2′s. Interestingly, unlike O2, Starbucks and BT don’t believe they are required to legally know who is using their WiFi and no registration is required.

DNS Spoofing: Yes
MiTM SSL: No
Deep Packet Inspection: Yes
Destination IP Transit Interference: No

Websites that are blocked due to sub-content (e.g. reddit.com/r/nsfw) are blocked over HTTP but accessible over SSL. Interestingly thepiratebay.se is reachable over SSL e.g.

curl -k -v https://194.71.107.27 -H 'Host: thepiratebay.se'

Using PAC files such as RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk was hit and miss and requires some more investigation but other bypass options such as SSL, Tor and using an SSH SOCKS5 tunnel all worked without issue.

BT also force Google to downgrade search to a non-ssl version which means others could monitor your search terms.

Breaking down a BT Intercept

When trying to hit reddit.com/r/nsfw this packet capture shows a HTTP 302 is returned rather than the site we’re after.

GET /r/nsfw HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: curl/7.34.0
Accept: */*
Host: reddit.com

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Location: http://217.41.225.106/redirect/starbucks/index.html

An attempt to reach thepiratebay.se resulted in a forged DNS reply for 193.113.9.167 that simply displays the words “Error – site blocked”

Interestingly as shown in this packet capture, resolving the A record out-of-band and then passing a HTTP request through works fine!

Bonus – EE Hotspot

During my travels between coffee shops I stumbled across an EE hotspot which had a completely different set of filtering as it uses OpenDNS.

DNS Spoofing: Yes
MiTM SSL: No
Deep Packet Inspection: No
Destination IP Transit Interference: No

Much like O2 you are required to register using a phone and EE uses www.picopoint.com to do this.

The filtering is very lax with reddit.com/r/nsfw and the Pirate Bay being allowed through however shock sites like rotten.com resolve to 67.215.65.130 which results in an OpenDNS block page.

Since the filtering is entirely DNS based out-of-band resolution, RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime, Tor and SSH SOCKS5 tunnels all work fine.

I’ve drank far too much coffee today and it’s a shame that public establishments feel it necessary to put censorship technology that performs excessive over-blocking (how is torproject.org sexual?) but at least it is still easy to bypass.

coffeecoffee

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More Laws Proposed To Enforce Censorship – Now At A Device Level

Earlier in the year we saw Internet censorship try and creep in through the Children and Families Bill and now our MPs are at it again.

Geraint Davies MP has proposed a bill that whilst sounding noble on the surface (the prevention of revenge porn in essence) also includes a requirement that manufacturers add a magic “no porn” feature to any new Internet capable device.

The bill isn’t currently available to read but is likely to be published closer to the 2nd reading date which is set for the 7th of November, in the mean time you can check its progress here.

The record of the first reading has been published on Hansard.

Mr Davies was supported by Jessica Morden, Mrs Siân C. James, Chris Evans, Mr Mark Williams and Nia Griffith but no other information appears to be available at the moment.

The Bills website encourages you to contact Geraint Davies directly to discuss the bill, I would encourage everyone to contact both him and your local MP.

Make no mistake, we let CleanFeed take control of the Internet for noble reasons and now it strangles access to anything the Government or lawyers deem unfit for you.

Your hardware should be as free (as in speech) as your software;

  • The freedom to run the program (use the hardware) as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program (hardware) works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code (schematics) is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Be wary of the fact that this is included in a bill designed to protect people and children so making any arguments against individual clauses may be perceived as an attack on the bill itself.

During a discussion about a different bill Geraint Davies said this;

I welcome the measure, but the question is whether it goes far enough. The average age at which children now have access to pornography is 11 years old, because smartphones, which parents normally buy, are not sold with a default position of non-porn. What does the Minister think about the proposition of making that the default? I will be introducing it as a Bill next Monday. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has found that one in two boys and one in three girls believe that there are circumstances in which forced sex is acceptable. Again, that is the result of the epidemic of violent and explicit sex, which children are viewing in classrooms on phones. Does the measure go far enough?

Even in video gaming, the most successful video game of all time—“Grand Theft Auto”, which was made in Scotland—has, apart from the violence one would expect, point-scoring for a player murdering prostitutes having had sex with them. Evidence increasingly suggests that such things incite violence, particularly towards women. Given that we have legislation against inciting racial hatred, should we consider having legislation against inciting hatred and violence against women in particular? Although the regulations take one step forward, the challenges facing us are racing ahead at a much faster pace. We are plodding behind, and we need to take some tough action if we are going to turn the corner. The regulations are not tough enough.
Geraint Davies (Swansea West)

He went on propsoing that current safeguards are not adequate and that the Government should entertain fining manufacturers;

It is very generous of the Minister to give way again. He is asserting that selling devices with a default position of no access to pornography is already happening. My understanding is that it is not. If he thinks it is happening, will he consider possible legislation whereby if mobile phones, computers and other devices that have access to the internet are not sold in a default position without that access—that is, if the user has to switch it on or contact the supplier—we could fine the manufacturers?
Geraint Davies (Swansea West)

I will leave you with a quote;

There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore.
Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’
Philip K. Dick

Legislation_gov_uk_logo

The Laws PIPCU used to intimidate Immunicity

Following the announcement of the City of London Police’s arrest of the operator of Immunicity.co.uk I issued a Freedom of Information request to ascertain which laws were used.

Yesterday I received a reply;

Classification: NOT PROTECTIVELY MARKED

Dear Mr Llewellyn,

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REF:  COL/14/672

I write in connection with your request for information dated 21 August 2014 in which you seek access to the following information:

I’d like to know what specific laws were broken by the person who was running immunicity.org and what powers the City of London Police used to arrest the person in question.

Running an “umbrella” website, running a Tor relay or just generally maintaining a Cisco router that routes packets is not a crime so I’m at a loss as to what grounds the City of London Police had.

 

The male was arrested on suspicion of committing the following offences;

Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence contrary to section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007

Possession of Articles for Use in Fraud contrary to section 6 of the Fraud Act 2006

Making or Supplying Articles for use in Frauds contrary to section 7 of the Fraud Act 2006

Money Laundering contrary to section 327 & 329 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

 

Should you have any further questions regarding your request, please contact me via e-mail, letter or telephone, quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Katy Grunblat

Senior Information Access Officer
Intelligence and Information Directorate
City of London Police | 182 Bishopsgate | London EC2M 4NP
T+44 20 7601 2287F+44 20 7601 2088
Email: Kathryn.Grunblat@city-of-london.pnn.police.uk

Katy Grunblat – Senior Information Access Officer

The laws in question can be found on legislation.gov.uk but are copied below for convenience;

Serious Crime Act 2007

44 Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence

(1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence; and

(b) he intends to encourage or assist its commission.

(2) But he is not to be taken to have intended to encourage or assist the commission of an offence merely because such encouragement or assistance was a foreseeable consequence of his act.

Fraud Act 2006

7 Making or supplying articles for use in frauds

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he makes, adapts, supplies or offers to supply any article—

(a) knowing that it is designed or adapted for use in the course of or in connection with fraud, or

(b) intending it to be used to commit, or assist in the commission of, fraud.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or to both);

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine (or to both).

(3) Subsection (2)(a) applies in relation to Northern Ireland as if the reference to 12 months were a reference to 6 months.

6 Possession etc. of articles for use in frauds

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he has in his possession or under his control any article for use in the course of or in connection with any fraud.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or to both);

(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to a fine (or to both).

(3) Subsection (2)(a) applies in relation to Northern Ireland as if the reference to 12 months were a reference to 6 months.

Proceeds of Crime Act

327 Concealing etc

(1) A person commits an offence if he—

(a) conceals criminal property;

(b) disguises criminal property;

(c) converts criminal property;

(d) transfers criminal property;

(e) removes criminal property from England and Wales or from Scotland or from Northern Ireland.

(2) But a person does not commit such an offence if—

(a) he makes an authorised disclosure under section 338 and (if the disclosure is made before he does the act mentioned in subsection (1)) he has the appropriate consent;

(b) he intended to make such a disclosure but had a reasonable excuse for not doing so;

(c) the act he does is done in carrying out a function he has relating to the enforcement of any provision of this Act or of any other enactment relating to criminal conduct or benefit from criminal conduct.

(3) Concealing or disguising criminal property includes concealing or disguising its nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership or any rights with respect to it.

329 Acquisition, use and possession

(1) A person commits an offence if he—

(a) acquires criminal property;

(b) uses criminal property;

(c) has possession of criminal property.

(2) But a person does not commit such an offence if—

(a) he makes an authorised disclosure under section 338 and (if the disclosure is made before he does the act mentioned in subsection (1)) he has the appropriate consent;

(b) he intended to make such a disclosure but had a reasonable excuse for not doing so;

(c) he acquired or used or had possession of the property for adequate consideration;

(d) the act he does is done in carrying out a function he has relating to the enforcement of any provision of this Act or of any other enactment relating to criminal conduct or benefit from criminal conduct.

(3) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a person acquires property for inadequate consideration if the value of the consideration is significantly less than the value of the property;

(b) a person uses or has possession of property for inadequate consideration if the value of the consideration is significantly less than the value of the use or possession;

(c) the provision by a person of goods or services which he knows or suspects may help another to carry out criminal conduct is not consideration.

 

I’m not a lawyer but let’s try and break these down.

Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence

Whilst the PAC file explicitly listed websites that have been found to facilitate the infringement of copyright looking through the Archive.org backup of immunicity.org doesn’t explicitly encourage people to pirate material.

The PAC does however assist in the infringement but simply providing access to a website doesn’t mean that a person will then go on to commit a crime so paragraph 2 may come into play.

Possession of Articles for Use in Fraud and Making or Supplying Articles for use in Frauds

Unless routing packets is in and of itself considered a connection to or commission of fraud I can’t see how the City of London Police have applied this to running a Proxy.

I would expect however that this could be related to the request for Bitcoin donations or something that the operator was doing unrelated to immunicity.org itself.

Money Laundering

This is most likely related to Bitcoin or something that the operator was doing unrelated to immunicity.org itself.

So, assuming that only the inchoate offence of encouraging or assisting an offence was related to the actual operation of a proxy we need to consult section 50 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 for the defences;

50 Defence of acting reasonably

(1) A person is not guilty of an offence under this Part if he proves—

(a) that he knew certain circumstances existed; and

(b) that it was reasonable for him to act as he did in those circumstances.

(2) A person is not guilty of an offence under this Part if he proves—

(a) that he believed certain circumstances to exist;

(b) that his belief was reasonable; and

(c) that it was reasonable for him to act as he did in the circumstances as he believed them to be.

(3) Factors to be considered in determining whether it was reasonable for a person to act as he did include—

(a) the seriousness of the anticipated offence (or, in the case of an offence under section 46, the offences specified in the indictment);

(b) any purpose for which he claims to have been acting;

(c) any authority by which he claims to have been acting.

In light of the defence of acting reasonably in the knowledge of the circumstances that the current state of Internet filtering being that there are competing ISPs who do not filter coupled with the fact that the honourable Justice Arnold only ordered Sky, BT, TalkTalk et al to block or at least impede access to certain sites but has not made accessing (or providing access) to those sites a crime I have rewritten RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk to be a general purpose selective routing PAC platform for UK users on filtered Internet connections.

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Building a PIPCU Resistant Immunicity Style Proxy Using Tor

A Little History

In June 2004 BT took the step of putting technical measures in place that allowed them to censor the Internet.

At the time there was muffled dissent at the idea of creating and deploying such technology but those voices were silenced by accusations that opposition to CleanFeed was to support the abuse of children.

We warned that this was the start of a slippery slope.

In 2011 the MPA took BT to court in an attempt to block Newzbin, when the Honourable Justice Arnold understood that BT already had an Internet censorship system in place he ordered it to be used to block Newzbin

In respect of its customers to whose internet service the system known as Cleanfeed is applied whether optionally or otherwise, [BT] shall within 14 days adopt the following technical means to block or attempt to block access by its customers to the website known as Newzbin2 currently accessible at www.newzbin.com, its domains and sub-domains and including payments.newzbin.com and any other IP address or URL whose sole or predominant purpose is to enable or facilitate access to the Newzbin2 websiteHon Justice Arnold

On the back of the Newzbin success various other private entities took to the High Court to chase more ISPs and in February 2012 the Honourable Justice Arnold ruled

… that both users and the operators of TPB infringe the copyrights of the Claimants (and those they represent) in the UK.Hon Justice Arnold

The result of this ruling was that BT, TalkTalk, Sky and others were required to take measures to block or at least impede access by their customers to a peer-to-peer (“P2P”) file-sharing website called The Pirate Bay (“TPB”).

At the time the OpenRightsGroup issued the following statement;

Blocking the Pirate Bay is pointless and dangerous. It will fuel calls for further, wider and even more drastic calls for internet censorship of many kinds, from pornography to extremism.Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group

So here we are in 2014, a decade after we originally predicted the slippery slope of Internet censorship and we have Court ordered censorship at the behest of foreign private entities, secret URL blocklists courtesy of the IWF, varying levels of Internet Filtering in homes, Internet filtering in coffee shops etc and now the City of London Police appear to be using organised Crime Legislation to intimidate and shut down proxies.

How a PAC Proxy Works

The PAC (Proxy auto-config) file format was originally designed by Netscape in 1996 for the Netscape Navigator 2.0 and is a text file that defines which URLs are to be routed over a proxy and optionally which proxy to use on a per URL basis.

A very basic PAC file could look like this;

function FindProxyForURL(url, host) 
{    
    var list = new Array("wtfismyip.com","www.ipchicken.com");
    for(var i=0; i < list .length; i++)
    {
        if (shExpMatch(host, list[i]))
        {
           return "SOCKS socks.survivetheclaireperryinter.net:9050";
        }
    }
    return "DIRECT";
}

This PAC file defines two URLs (wtfismyip.com and www.ipchicken.com) and tells the browser that these URLs should be routed via the SOCKS proxy socks.survivetheclaireperryinter.net using port 9050. Any other URLs are routed directly (as in not using a proxy).

The Tor Project is one of the most powerful tools we have against Internet censorship and one of the features of a Tor relay is the ability to be used as a SOCKS proxy.

There are lots of Tor relays on the Internet that are configured not only as Bridges, pluggable transports, Exits & relays but also as SOCKS servers. We will create a Tor relay to be coupled with a PAC file to selectively route certain URLs over The Onion Routing network to bypass censorship.

Using the Tor PAC Proxy

To test a Tor powered PAC proxy simply set your Browser Proxy settings to; https://RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk/pac.config?id=piratebay this will allow you to browse to thepiratebay.se via a Tor proxy in Russia.

To create your own list of URLs to route via your Tor proxy start by navigating to https://RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk and identify which URLs you would like to route.

Note that the only URL selected by default is wtfismyip.com. To re-iterate, this is a technical demonstration of Censorship evasion and bypassing censorship is NOT illegal.

Add all of your URLs separated by a comma e.g. “google.com, yahoo.com, bing.com” then click “Save PAC File”.

Make note of your unique PAC file URL e.g. https://RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk/pac.config?id=ABCDEF1234567890

Configure your browser to use your unique PAC file


Configure Internet Explorer

  1. Go to Start then Control Panel. (Windows 8 users hover your mouse to the bottom right, click Settings, then click Control Panel)
  2. Find Internet Options (sometimes under Network and Internet), then go to the Connections tab.
  3. At the bottom, click the LAN settings button.
  4. A new dialog will appear. Tick the box that says Use automatic configuration script.
  5. In the address field, paste in your unique PAC file ID e.g. https://RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk/pac.config?id=ABCDEF1234567890
  6. Press OK, then OK on the Internet Options dialog.

Configure Mozilla Firefox

  1. In Mozilla Firefox, go to Options. In Windows, click the Firefox button then choose Options, or go to Tools, then Options. In Mac OS X, go to Firefox, then Preferences. In Linux, go to Tools, Options.
  2. Go to the Advanced tab, then go to the Network tab.
  3. Click Settings next to Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet.
  4. Select Automatic proxy configuration URL.
  5. In the text field, paste in your unique PAC file ID e.g. https://RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk/pac.config?id=ABCDEF1234567890
  6. Press OK, then OK on the Options dialog.

Configure Google Chrome

  1. In Google Chrome, click the menu button to the right of the URL bar, and choose Settings.
  2. At the bottom, click the Show advanced settings
  3. Under Network, click Change proxy settings.
    1. On Windows, at the bottom click the LAN settings button. A new dialog will appear. Tick the box that says Use automatic configuration script.
    2. On Mac OS X, tick Automatic Proxy Configuration.
    3. On Linux, click Network proxy, select Automatic from the Method drop down menu.
  4. In the address field, paste in your unique PAC file ID e.g. https://RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime.uk/pac.config?id=ABCDEF1234567890
  5. Close the dialogs to save the settings. On Mac OS X, press Apply first.

You’ll note that the PAC file specifies the proxy as localhost:9050, trying to visit the URLs in question won’t work until we setup the local Tor relay.

Creating Your Local Tor Proxy

If you want to help the Tor network grow and create your own proxy to use with the RoutingPacketsIsNotACrime PAC files then these instructions should get you started.

If you don’t already have a dedicated server consider visiting DigitalOcean, Amazon EC2 or for some really good deals check LowEndBox.com.

For various reasons I would suggest hosting the server outside of the UK but that is a choice for you to make.

CentOS 6

Install EPEL

wget http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
yum install epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

Edit iptables

vim /etc/sysconfig/iptables

Allow the ORPort and the proxy port (in this case 9001 and 9150)

*filter
:INPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
:FORWARD ACCEPT [0:0]
:OUTPUT ACCEPT [0:0]
-A INPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p icmp -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 9001 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 9150 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited
-A FORWARD -j REJECT --reject-with icmp-host-prohibited
COMMIT

Save and quit

/etc/init.d/iptables restart

If your server has IPv6 then make similar changes to ip6tables

Editing torrc

vim /etc/tor/torrc

A minimal torrc for use with a PAC file style proxy would look similar to the below (although you should read all the options to understand what you are doing);

SocksPort xx.xx.xx.xx:9150
ORPort 9001
Nickname TheNameOfYourRelay
ContactInfo YourContactDetails
ExitPolicy reject *:*

xx.xx.xx.xx should be a routeable IP (e.g. not 127.0.0.1) of your server, if you want to keep your relay server partially private you might want to add PublishServerDescriptor 0 to your config too.

There is no security here, if someone port scanned your server then they would see that it is an open proxy and could use it to do nasty things that people will blame you for!
If your Tor relay is on a public IP (e.g. not 10.0.0.0/8, 172.16.0.0/12 or 192.168.0.0/16) then you may want to restrict the IPTables allow rule to only allow your source IP addresses

Start Tor & Confirm it is working

/etc/init.d/tor start
tail -f /var/log/messages

You should see something along the lines of;

socks Tor[31452]: Self-testing indicates your ORPort is reachable from the outside. Excellent. Publishing server descriptor.
socks Tor[31452]: Bootstrapped 85%: Finishing handshake with first hop.
socks Tor[31452]: Bootstrapped 90%: Establishing a Tor circuit.
socks Tor[31452]: Tor has successfully opened a circuit. Looks like client functionality is working.
socks Tor[31452]: Bootstrapped 100%: Done.
socks Tor[31452]: Performing bandwidth self-test...done.

Done!

Assuming you have chosen the URLs you wanted in the previous section (Using the Tor PAC Proxy) you can now browse to the URLs that were previously censored as they are now being routed over Tor. Any non-restricted URLs will route over your normal Internet connection.

Windows

Follow our tutorial on Securely Installing Tor on Windows to get the full Tor Browser bundle up and running.

Once installed and started Tor will be running on localhost:9150 (do not close the Tor Browser as this will also close the relay)

Done!

Assuming you have chosen the URLs you wanted in the previous section (Using the Tor PAC Proxy) you can now browse to the URLs that were previously censored as they are now being routed over Tor. Any non-restricted URLs will route over your normal Internet connection.

Some Final Thoughts (and quotes)

Internet Censorship is abhorrent, we shouldn’t stand by and let the Government, Police or lawyers dictate what we can read. The slippery slope is getting steeper every day so we all need to help stop it.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.Edmund Burke

I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.Lily Tomlin

Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.Bruce Coville

Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?Kurt Vonnegut

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.Harry S. Truman

Free societies…are societies in motion, and with motion comes tension, dissent, friction. Free people strike sparks, and those sparks are the best evidence of freedom’s existence.Salman Rushdie

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.T.E. Lawrence

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The City of London PIPCU attempts to Block Proxies (and fails)

The City of London Police Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) arrested the operator of immunicity.org “on suspicion of running an ‘umbrella’ website providing access to other websites which have been subject to legal blocking orders.”

So some private entities sued some other private entities to prevent their customers from accessing certain websites. This, as far as I understand it, was a civil matter. How does the City of London Police gain the ability to arrest someone how was not party to either side of the civil matter.

An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation or prevention of crime.Wikipedia

Routing packets is NOT A CRIME. What the fuck do they think they are up to?

 

Thankfully http://immunicity.co.uk/ and http://immun.es/ have already launched to help fill the space and more Tor Project relays are spinning up every day but let’s not stop there, if we don’t complain then they will continue to arrest and harass operators of these servers.

I would encourage people to complain to the City of London Police directly by tweeting at @CityPolice, by phone at 020 7601 2222, directly on their website with either this form (Public Complaints) or this form (Expression of Dissatisfaction) or by email; psd_public@cityoflondon.police.uk

If you have time then also make a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission by calling on 0300 020 0096 or via the website: http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/complaints (it probably wouldn’t hurt to tweet @IPCCNews as well).

As always check our Top Ways to Avoid Filters page for the latest information on the best way to avoid Internet filtering be it performed by the state, ISPs, special interest groups or because your current method was illegally shutdown by a police force overstepping the mark.

Update: September – Immunicity,co.uk has shutdown and immun.es is very unreliable.
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Open Rights Group Launches Blocked.org.uk to track UK Net Censorship & Is Immediately Censored

At midnight this morning (July 2nd 2014) the Open Rights Group (re)launched their Censorship Monitoring Project at https://www.blocked.org.uk.

Within hours it had hit the front pages of reddit, Hacker News and BoingBoing, it was also featured on the Telegraph and exploded on Twitter.

How did the ISPs respond to this new found exposure of their over-blocking?

By shooting the reporter of course; https://www.blocked.org.uk/results?url=http%3A%2F%2Fblocked.org.uk%2F

I’d say this behaviour is disgusting but when the Government creates the power to enforce who can see what is it any surprise that it gets abused?

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More Overblocking for reasons of “Sexual Orientation” – This time at Costa Coffee

It didn’t take long for more high profile websites to get overblocked by overzealous filters.

PinkNews.co.uk reported today that it is blocked at Costa Coffee locations due to “Sexual Orientation”.

Yes, we’ve got to protect those kids from the childhood corrupting influence of Gay news.

But don’t worry, in the event that someone then planned on browsing to Stonewall to report what they may feel is an inappropriate block bordering on discrimination they’d find that Stonewall is blocked too.

Things are only going to get worse…