Avoiding Nation-State Surveillance
When Internet traffic enters a country, it becomes subject to those countries laws. As an increasing number of countries pass laws that facilitate mass surveillan …
|Talk Title||Avoiding Nation-State Surveillance|
|Speakers||Roya Ensafi, Annie Edmundson (Princeton University)|
|Date||Jun 13 2016 - Jun 15 2016|
When Internet traffic enters a country, it becomes subject to those countries’ laws. As an increasing number of countries pass laws that facilitate mass surveillance, Internet users have more need than ever to determine—and control—which countries their traffic is traversing. To this end, we first conduct a large-scale measurement study to demonstrate that Internet paths often transit countries where laws may make users more vulnerable to surveillance than they would be in their home country. We investigate different options that give users the power to avoid certain countries, which could ultimately make them less vulnerable to state-level surveillance. Our measurement-driven evaluation shows that tunneling allows users in many countries to access many popular sites without traversing certain other countries. Our study focuses on five different countries: Brazil, Netherlands, India, Kenya, and the United States. We find that these different options increase clients’ (end-users’) abilities to avoid other countries, but no country can completely avoid all other countries. Our results also show how central the United States is to inter-domain routing, as clients in Brazil, Netherlands, India, and Kenya cannot avoid the United States when accessing a significant portion of the top domains.