Anti-censorship and anti-click fraud?

Anti-censorship and anti-click fraud?

Summary: San Diego based Anonymizer is developing a technology to help Chinese internet users avoid the Chinese government's censorship efforts. It is a neat idea, however, it looks like it would make it nearly impossible to detech click-fraud--the practice of clicking on ads to make money.

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TOPICS: Networking
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San Diego based Anonymizer is developing a technology to help Chinese internet users avoid the Chinese government's censorship efforts. It is a neat idea, however, it looks like it would make it nearly impossible to detech click-fraud--the practice of clicking on ads to make money.

Take a look at this excerpt from Anonymizer's recent press release:

"The software will make a secure (SSL) connection to Anonymizer’s anti-censorship servers through a frequently changing set of IP addresses that are not associated with Anonymizer. From there, the user’s connection will continue to its destination over the uncensored Internet, and will appear to come from yet another IP address. This system will ensure that the user is protected both from interception and blocking of their Internet traffic when exiting China. It will also protect against monitoring of forums or other Web sites which will try to detect the users IP address within China.

Any attempt to monitor this connection from within China will only see ordinary SSL Web connections to uncontroversial domains. Any monitoring of IP addresses accessing forums, Web-mail sites, blogs, or discussion boards will show Anonymizer IP addresses which are impossible to track back to the originating IP address. "

Am I wrong? Am I missing something? This looks like a perfect technology to maintain the momentum of the click-fraud train...

Topic: Networking

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5 comments
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  • CPA

    That's one of the reasons why CPA (Cost Per Action) is the better advertising model.

    Its a facinating model really - what other medium could facilitate such a thing? Imagine someone buying a TV commercial spot on the Super Bowl and not having to pay if the spot didn't sell anything.
    unoriginal_sin
    • oh and...

      This technology isn't exactly new. And there are also peer proxy networks that pass packets through other individuals in the network so you can't tell which individual made the request (or got the response). If this technology is a boon for anti-click fraud, then you can bet it's already being used.
      unoriginal_sin
  • Missing a few things, maybe

    Depending on the monitoring going on, those who censor may not be hindered by SSL. If the monitoring happens on a the way in/out of the country or lower level (ISP), then they get the key(s) sent, and can therefore monitor without encryption.
    hawkeyeaz1
    • not true

      SSL key exchange is not really a point of weakness. If someone had the 2 keys exchanged it would at most reduce the time to compromise the traffic. The only way the SSL encrypted stream could be trivially compromised by the Chinese gov't is if the SSL server is compromised. Either way, a supercomputer and weeks or more would be required.

      However it seems to me the result of this on the Chinese side would be to ban SSL, or encryption in general, except in cases of official "state" use. In a way I'm shocked they haven't already done it... Even if they didn't go to that extreme, it would probably be trivial for them to identify users using this system by just analyzing their traffic. Their gov't doesn't truly need to know what the traffic is, just who to... "shut down"...
      stormculture
  • what's more important, freedom or capitalism

    Instead of reflexively bowing to the almighty buck, why not ask yourself, "what's more important, lost ad revenue or freedom?"

    Granted, in a perfect world, we'd have both capitalism and freedom from censorship, but if i had to jettison one of these, i'm pretty sure that my decision would be to help end human suffering.
    rsansev