Does anyone know of efforts to provide proxy servers to Iranian dissidents?

I would like to help. Caveats: I am a networking newbie with some underused hardware of lightweight capability, so I don't know how much I could provide. I don't know if any service I provided would be secure from the regime's intelligence operations.

That said, I would like to know if there is some avenue by which I could help.

I appreciate that open proxy servers can be a risk and nuisance to other users. I think communal returns on free flow of information are momentarily higher than usual, and so change the normal calculation of the community cost/benefit of these things. I'd be glad to configure to monitor for and stop abuse.

If an offline reply makes more sense, I can be reached at gmail. I'm willing to work out offline validation of identity.

  • I havent set up a proxy in like 10 years, but you should look at Squid for this. – pauska Jun 17 '09 at 14:26
  • Why not setup a Tor node? – Joseph Kern Jun 17 '09 at 17:58
  • Don't know anything about Tor nodes. – chernevik Jun 17 '09 at 21:06

Not exactly technical information on setting up proxies, but Marjan Safinia's guidelines probably could use posting, what with the original site being shut down and the versions being posted around apparently getting increasingly corrupted:

  1. Do NOT publicize proxy IPs over Twitter, and especially not using the #iranelection hashtag. Security forces are monitoring this hashtag, and the moment they identify a proxy IP they will block it in Iran. If you are creating new proxies for the Iranian bloggers, DM (direct message) them to @stopAhmadi or @iran09 and they will distribute them discretely to bloggers in Iran.
  2. The only two legitimate hashtags being used by bloggers in Iran are #iranelection and #gr88, other hashtag ideas run the risk of diluting the conversation.
  3. Keep

 Security forces are now setting up Twitter accounts to spread disinformation by posing as Iranian protesters. Please don't re-tweet impetuously, try to confirm information with reliable sources before re-tweeting. The legitimate sources are not hard to find and follow.
  4. Help cover the bloggers: change your Twitter settings so that your location is TEHRAN and your time zone is GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location and timezone searches. If we all become 'Iranians,' it becomes much harder to find them.
  5. Don't blow their cover! If you discover a genuine source, please don't publish their name or location on a website. These bloggers are in REAL danger. Spread the word discretely through your own networks, but don't signpost them to the security forces. People are dying for in Iran, please keep that in mind.
  6. Denial of Service attacks: If you don't know what you are doing, stay out of this. Only target those sites the legitimate Iranian bloggers are designating. Be aware that these attacks can have detrimental effects to the network the protesters are relying on. Keep monitoring their traffic to note when you should turn the taps on or off.
  7. Do spread the (legitimate) word, it works! When the bloggers asked for Twitter maintenance to be postponed using the #nomaintenance tag, it had the desired effect. As long as we spread good information, provide moral support to the protesters, and take our lead from the legitimate bloggers, we can make a constructive contribution.
  • This is good information, but it seems dangerous to me to send information to addresses published in the clear. For all we know the regime could have compromised those addresses. Finding connections to individuals with private (and hopefully secure) channels seems a safer approach to me. – chernevik Jun 17 '09 at 16:51

Just found this one: http://blog.austinheap.com/2009/06/15/how-to-setup-a-proxy-for-iran-citizens/

  • 2
    I'm running a proxy now, hope it helps to spread news out of the country. – pauska Jun 17 '09 at 15:05
  • Thank you. I've set up a server per this article and comments, and sent email to its author to advise. Though the answer is very helpful, I am not "accepting" it because I lack the expertise to know whether the solution is secure for the Iranian dissidents. – chernevik Jun 17 '09 at 16:48
  • Since you run it outside Iran it's "secure" for them, as long as you (the admin) dont finger with the data the proxy are sending to them. Irani officials are trying to block every proxy they can find (IP filter on borderline ISP), so keep the proxy a secret. – pauska Jun 17 '09 at 17:39

Set up a Tor proxy. You will not only help Iranians but also others who need anonymity. This gives an important additional benefit to the users of your proxy: the adversaries can not intercept the traffic between the users and your proxy like they can with a standard non-encrypted HTTP proxy (like the squid configuration referenced in another answer).

See the following link for more information: https://www.torproject.org/. The setup is easy. You need to read enough at the previous link to understand the different node types (bridge, middleman and exit) and choose which one you want to be, and set your bandwidth limit at a suitable level.

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