IFF Tool Showcase #1: CENO

CENO (Censorship.NO!) is an innovative approach to censorship circumvention, based on P2P storage networks, and in particular on Freenet. CENO maintains strong privacy and anonymity features as well as offering users plausible deniability in an emergency situation. CENO is built in advance of aggressive Internet filtering and the establishment of national intranets to fence off citizens from the wicked Web, so it’s a tool to access restricted information and resources when everything else fails.


CENO Components

The main purpose of CENO is to deliver content that otherwise would not be available because of Internet censorship. When CENO has been launched, users can anonymously request a web page that is inaccessible from their country by entering a normal URL in CENO’s customized browser profile. Their request will reach a so-called bridge node, a peer node that also acts as a CENO server, bridging the p2p network with the World Wide Web. The bridge node will then fetch the requested web page, bundle it and insert it in the distributed storage in the p2p network, where it can be eventually retrieved by the user. While the users wait for the requested page to be delivered, which can take some time, they can read the selection of news feeds that can be reached from the “CENO Portal”. These selected feeds are inserted by default in CENO and are updated on a daily basis.

At the moment CENO bridges are all managed by the CENO team, but users can set up their own bridge nodes, independently from CENO team’s Insertion Authority. No knowledge of the global network topology is required in order to retrieve bundles or send a message to a bridge, and no CENO node can know where the other nodes are located. Last but not least, CENO is a resilient solution to censorship circumvention: in cases of nationwide Internet throttling, content will remain available to the peers given that a copy of that bundle is cached in the in-country network of peers. Read more about CENO here.

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