by Mike Masnick

A World Map To Outwit Web Censors

from the go-distributed-computing-go dept

The folks at the Berkman Center at Harvard, who have been putting out plenty of information about what countries censor what information online are now putting together a distributed computing application to help them figure out what sites are blocked where. Instead of having to run tests themselves, they figure they might as well get information from people all over the world. As with any such distributed computing app, it's being compared to SETI@Home. Sounds like a good idea - though, some people might shy away from using it because (unlike things like SETI@Home) this one is actually looking at specific sites you may be visiting. Also, I wonder if there are additional dangers. Since the system is set to test whether or not you can visit certain, specific websites, anyone monitoring your computer connection may assume that you actually did visit those sites. Maybe I don't understand how the technology is set up specifically, but I could see someone installing this program on their work PC, and having it test certain porn sites - at which point, the company monitoring system accuses the user of that computer of surfing porn from work. Assuming issues like this are clearly addressed, then this sounds like a pretty good idea.

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