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Iranians found an original way to bypass state censorship

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Files from Internet are hidden inside MPEG and broadcast on satellite TV

Iranians found an original way to bypass state censorship
Iranian authorities are conducting a very strict policies to filter the internet YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and hundreds of other popular news sites, social networks, sports sites, news resources, online stores and so on are blocked in the country. In general, of the 500 most popular sites of the Internet in Iran blocked almost 50% After the cyber attack. Stuxnet in 2012, state authorities have been highly suspicious of Western technology, filtered Internet traffic, and begun organizing a self-sufficient “internal Internet” isolated from the outside Web, banning foreign email services and foreign software.
The government controls external communication channels and tries to filter traffic from Tor, Psiphon, VPNs, and other services to circumvent censorship. HTTPS connections are also cut off. Because of this filtering, as well as because of the underdeveloped infrastructure, the Internet in Iran remains very slow and quite expensive – 1 GB of traffic costs about $1.
Activists from the Net Freedom Pioneers project came up with an original way to bypass government censorship. They opened a satellite TV channel to transmit “forbidden” files to users’ computers and developed a program Toosheh which converts files into .ts (MPEG video) format and back.
Toosheh has been operating since March 2016. The authorities promptly blocked the official website, but they cannot block the satellite channel. It broadcasts from the Yahsat satellite. Users only need to download and install the Toosheh software.
To get fresh files, simply insert a flash drive into the satellite receiver and press the “Record” button. The broadcast repeats cyclically every hour, so you can start recording at any time. About 1 gigabyte is recorded per hour. After that the USB stick is transferred to your PC, where the Toosheh program converts the recorded video stream and creates a folder with a selection of fresh files from the Internet.
Satellite dishes are installed everywhere in Iran, even in remote small villages. They are available at 70% of the population , so the idea is pretty promising. In the first month 56, 000 users downloaded the program.
Of course, it is not without its drawbacks. The user cannot order an arbitrary file from the Internet, but has to make do with what the activists themselves choose to transmit. Five Iranian dissident emigrants do this: they compile a selection of entertainment, educational, and informational materials. It includes Iranian music before 1979, PDF files of informational summaries, Tor, Latern and other software to bypass government censorship, educational courses in English and other things which are forbidden by the authorities.
Iranians found an original way to bypass state censorship
Iranians found an original way to bypass state censorship
Even so, new files from the Internet every day are like a breath of fresh air for people living under an information blockade. Activists receive feedback from users and select files for transmission according to the wishes of the audience.
The example of Iran shows that even the most severe censorship can be circumvented by technical means. The authorities are not capable of blocking satellite signals or identifying users who receive banned files.

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