Mashup Content Harvesting for an Open Internet

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Motivation and Approach

Over the next decade, approximately five billion people will become connected to the Internet. The biggest increase will be in societies where the Internet censorship for social, political, religious, and other reasons, is thriving. An open Internet is a tremendously important goal for several reasons. First, the freedom of information, which is a universally recognized human right, can help people who historically have been isolated, to get a chance to become active, prosperous, and engaged participants in the world community. Second, only a truly open Internet helps fuel the economy, increases productivity, and opens business and innovation opportunities around the world. While the censorship technologies are a multi-billion-dollar industry, the tools to measure and assess digital repression get only a few million dollars in government and private funding. More importantly, while detecting censorship is vital, providing systems to undermine censors, filters and throttles, is even more essential.

We propose mashup content harvesting as a comprehensive approach to the above censorship-induced problems. In our approach, users have the ability and means, which we will develop, to create or replicate content by representing it in terms of the significant amount of data publicly available from non-censored web sources. This could be done either by utilizing the DNS system where the significant network complexity enables rich information hiding opportunities, or by utilizing the existing Web pages. Our goal is to develop and deploy feasible and effective counter-censorship systems capable of providing strong covertness and deniability properties by utilizing the significant network complexity and the enormous amount of data available on the Web.



  • Thinking Outside the Inbox: Introducing Anticipated Endpoint Protocols with WARCloud
    M. Warrior and A. Kuzmanovic
    [ In Submission ]

  • A Treasure Hunt for Hostless Content Delivery
    U. Klarman, M. Flores, and A. Kuzmanovic
    [ To Appear ]

  • DNS-sly: Avoiding Censorship through Network Complexity
    Q. Akbar, M. Flores, and A. Kuzmanovic
    In Proceedings of USENIX FOCI '16, Austin, Texas, August 2016.


  • DNS-sly source code is available here.