UMD researchers find way to avoid routing information through countries that censor Internet access

Most internet users have heard of the Great Firewall of China, as well as other countries that use blocks on servers to limit their citizens' access to the Internet.  But many don't know that information that travels through a censored country on its way to its final destination can end up altered as well.

In August, researchers from the University of Maryland released a new method, called Alibi Routing, to ensure that a user's information doesn't travel through censured regions.  When information travels over the Internet, files are broken up into packets, which are sent to a series of routers all over the world.  Alibi Routing allows senders and receivers to see that their content hasn't traveled through routers in censured countries, such as North Korea and Saudi Arabia, that could erase parts of the information before they travel to the next router.

While Alibi Routing will only be available to users who run the software on their computers, it draws attention to the fact that more of the world's information may be censured than we realize.  Although there are risks associated with avoiding sending all information through those regions, it will be a security upgrade to track our most secure content during its journey

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