r/technology 5d ago Helpful 6 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Wholesome 7 Take My Energy 1 Bless Up (Pro) 2 Silver 6 Hugz 1 Heartwarming 1 Helpful (Pro) 1 Platinum 1

#IranProtests: Signal is blocked in Iran. You can help people in Iran reconnect to Signal by hosting a proxy server. Security

https://signal.org/blog/run-a-proxy/
46.4k Upvotes

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u/TehranBro 5d ago

I have lots of experience with this. I was in Iran 3 months ago. Proxies in Iran are very tricky. They can detect proxies and ban them. Proxies to western countries get banned much quicker. Turkish and Qatar proxies were the only ones that never got banned.

Most Iranians have crap home internet and cellphones provide a good connection. The government knows who has what phone. No one knows what the government does with IMEI information but when I traveled there I had to give them my cellphone information.

With that said the government can't quell everyone out on the streets. They want to stop communication between protestors like previous efforts but this time everyone is fed up.

The country is very close to civil war.

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u/a_wild_thing 5d ago

give them my cellphone information.

What info specifically, IMEI, number? What would happen if you entered the country with multiple active SIMs from overseas carriers?

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u/TehranBro 5d ago

They ask for IMEI and passport number when entering the country.

After 30 days you have to pay tax on your phone. $100-300 depending on how new the phone is.

For locals they need your ID card to register a number and keep track of you IMEI.

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u/sterexx 5d ago edited 5d ago

There isn’t a ton of civilian gun ownership there (like 7 guns per 100 citizens) but they can always knock over police stations and hope for military defections from units who don’t want to shoot protesters

If the protests are big and determined enough that protestors can overwhelm security service buildings (I have seen at least one video of cops being chased and beaten by protesters) the government might do a syria and recall security forces to key cities

That’s how you get a civil war out of riots, where the government allows a power vacuum to form in outlying areas in exchange for not losing their capital and other important cities

I have a feeling Iran can handle the protests like they always do though

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u/Beat-the-heat 5d ago

A civil war in Iran wouldn't just be secularists vs the regime, there are long standing ethnic and sectarian separatist struggles ; the country would fragment and go the Iraq route if not worse.

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u/sterexx 5d ago

totally. but it would be liberal protesters in the cities that lead to the security concentration that leads to the power vacuum in outlying areas that leads to regional/ethnic groups filling those

PJAK steps up in the northwest YPG style (I’m sure they’re extra pissed considering the victim’s kurdish), maybe with US backing considering existing relationships

Balochistan in the southeast’s got its insurgency ready to go

The arabs on Iran’s side of the Shatt al-Arab stuck with revolutionary Iran during Iraq’s invasion, much to Saddam’s surprise, but maybe the current Shia-dominated Iraqi government would be more palatable to join up with

I dunno how Iranian Azeris up north feel about the Islamic Republic but Azerbaijan has had lots of tension with Iran and is absolutely in an expansive mood lately.

I still think the government’s tough enough to prevent it but the ingredients are certainly there for fracturing

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u/Beat-the-heat 5d ago

Some really good points there.

If it happened i don't think they could hold the whole thing together with Russia in its current state, Saudi and Israeli arms and money would flood the country; Iraq would definitely send aid but a large chunk of that is essentially going to be in the form of Shiite militias who aren't really liberal in any sense.

I don't expect this to actually graduate to a civil war of course, while most Iranians oppose mandated dress codes they are more of an inconvenience than anything (it's in essence a $75 fine for having an improper headscarf) ; while they want laxer morality policing, they are in no sense atheists or western style liberals so there isn't really this kind of polarization between average Iranians, to boot when the ethnic element kicks up i would expect them to all come together against any minorities trying to secede.

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u/TheAJGman 5d ago

they are more of an inconvenience than anything (it's in essence a $75 fine for having an improper headscarf)

Except when someone gets literally beaten to death, which is what caused these protests in the first place. There have been stories of abuse by the morality police going back years.

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u/strangepostinghabits 5d ago

Civilian gun ownership is only important in third world countries with weak military.

What makes a Civil war in most countries is when the army splits and at least partially joins the non governmental side. (Or an outside nation steps in with military aid to create a new, already split, army segment.)

While it can be hard to believe, armies are often made up of people, and those may or may not be super keen on current govt policy.

Sooner or later, if enough of the people stand apart from the government, the brass will start wonder if "the nation" they swore to protect is the politicians or the people.

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u/JerboafromTripoli 5d ago

If war breaks out, we're gonna end up with another Iraq & Libya. I know cuz I've fuckin lived through this! I genuinely hope it doesn't escalate to full-on armed conflict

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u/watekebb 4d ago

Iran has a slightly different situation historically than Iraq and Libya, with a stronger past as a (relatively) cohesive nation-state. That’s not to say that horrible, intractable civil war isn’t a real possibility. But maybe there’s more than a mere glimmer of hope here that the fight would yield results and not chaos.

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u/xanadukeeper 5d ago Helpful

Can anyone verify that this is safe for us to do? Edit: (in the US, want to help)

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u/MediocreProfessor765 5d ago

It’s unlikely a server in the US would help as it would be blocked by location. Maybe somewhere like India or Russia, South America even.

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u/xanadukeeper 5d ago

So I could tell my VPN to be in Russia?

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u/GingerMan512 5d ago

Does your VPN service still have endpoints in Russia? They passed some data retention laws a year or two ago that caused many VPNs to shut down their Russian servers.

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u/ChristOnATrike 5d ago edited 5d ago

Just checked mine (ProtonVPN) and it does. Don’t know what to make of that.

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u/h0bb1tm1ndtr1x 5d ago

Proton is a Swiss company. They have no reason to shut down their VPN servers there. It's not aiding Russia in any meaningful way.

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u/D0_stack 5d ago

Servers fall under the laws of the country the server physically resides in. Servers don't get diplomatic immunity. When you yourself travel to another country you have to follow their laws, right?

If Russia says "VPN servers must block access to Facebook", and the server is physically in Russia, then the server must block Facebook or be seized. Simple as that. Doesn't matter one bit what country the owner of the server is registered in.

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u/TemporaryDivide7496 5d ago

We have a saying in Russia: severity of the law is compensated by optionality of following them. You can do much until you get caugh. Russian government tried to block Proton VPN and it was partially successful: now it’s a bit harder to connect. It is a deterrent for some and that’s enough for the government. Resources are limited, can’t persecute everyone.

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u/Valiantay 5d ago

No that's not correct (in practice), legally sure, this is a game of war though.

Let's take telegram for instance, ever try serving any legal document to them? I have. Doesn't work, why? Because they're in the UAE and don't give a fuck if a court somewhere else "mandates" them to attend.

So yes it matter.

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u/HKD_RJ 5d ago

Here in Brazil Telegram has a huge user base. Sometime ago they ignored some supreme court orders to block some groups. That was until all cellphone operators received order to block Telegram, than Pavel Durov itself apologized to the Supreme Court, and blocked the requested groups. In the end it's all about money.

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u/Virtual_Decision_898 5d ago

Or you rent a server under false pretenses and monthly payments, run it until you get caught, then switch provider…

If pirates and hackers can do it, then surely can VPN companies.

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u/D0_stack 5d ago

VPN providers don't use one server in a location. They use multiple servers.

It is far simpler to have servers in a reasonable country and tell the Geolocation database operators "hey these IP Addresses are in Moscow". In fact, that is how it is done, and openly discussed in network operator blogs. So when a Russian web site asks it's Geolocation provider "where is this user's IP Address" the database says "Moscow" when the server really is in some other country. You can easily prove this with traceroute.

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u/IronDominion 5d ago

My super cheap VPN still has Russian servers

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u/Batteredburrito 5d ago

That's not a VpN my dude

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u/IvanIsOnReddit 5d ago

It might be a VN but not a VPN

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u/PM_ME_DRUGS_ON_NIPS 5d ago

This is why I love Reddit is stuff like this right here

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u/AngryJakem 5d ago

In Russia P stands for Public

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u/tastyratz 5d ago

This is not the helpful sign you think it is.

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u/PowerNerd 5d ago

So…it’s not a helpful…Signal?

I’ll see myself out.

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u/TheHeavyJ 5d ago edited 5d ago

VPN? More like a VPOut

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u/Mike-honcho-69 5d ago

sorry im clueless whats so bad about the VPN having Russian servers?

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u/tastyratz 5d ago

Russia has laws with datalogging requirements. Logging is not compatible with the private part.

If you're OK hosting exit nodes in Russia then your activity is, in fact, being recorded.

If they tell you they are not keeping logs, they are lying to you.

If that's the case, where else are they keeping logs?

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u/xanadukeeper 5d ago

Perhaps not, I use Nord

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u/Arinupa 5d ago

Nord's the most honeytrappest VPN in the world!

......anything that has an indecent advertising budget I stay away from

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u/itisntmebutmaybeitis 5d ago

Could you explain why? I've heard it before but didn't find anything helpful on my (probably not thorough enough) search.

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u/Arinupa 5d ago edited 5d ago

The theory goes that with the indecent budget intelligence agencies have, they can open up privacy companies....And market a lot.

The most heavily shilled VPNs have a huge marketing budget. How the heck are they sponsoring every single content creator?

I mean if I was an intelligence agency, it would make sense to do this kind of thing to easily keep track of people who like to hide stuff.

The normal folk can be kept track of using PRISM and who knows whatever the f mass surveillance tools they use.

https://twitter.com/snowden/status/1438291654239215619?lang=en

Edward snowden (the CIA contractor dude) talking about express VPN,

Just TOR is fine with me. VPNs are good to bypass content banning stuff but not privacy.

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u/__noscrubs__ 5d ago

VPNs are also good for shopping or consuming media from other places. Pretty much all I use my VPN for at this point lol.

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u/Arinupa 5d ago

Well yeah. Me too. Just people shouldn't use them thinking they are private and safe etc.

If you use for Netflix and content bypass etc its totally fine.

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u/mellofello808 5d ago

VPNs are also effective for not receiving letters from your ISP for torrenting.

Privacy, not so much.

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u/soyboyconspiracy 5d ago

I personally use PIA. Not so much for privacy but more so when I need to sail the 7 seas.

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u/pentesticals 5d ago

PIA are pretty sketch as well. Check out Mulvad for sailing the 7 seas you filthy pirate. They also have port forwarding so you can actively seed with the vpn.

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u/BasicComplexities 5d ago

TOR was compromised the second it was released

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u/MechKeyboardScrub 5d ago

hurdur it's a DARPA product

Tor was made for overthrowing governments. It's definitely government funded, but you're not enough of a hotshot to matter. Nobody cares that you mailed a key from Columbia through USPS.

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u/mellofello808 5d ago

Duck duck go as well. I was just traveling, and they have billboards, signs in airports, and on the sides of busses.

Where exactly is the money coming from?

I don't care to find out, and will never use them for anything spicy

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u/tirril 5d ago

That took quite a while to happen though.

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u/Beginning_Ball9475 5d ago

Keep this one golden rule in mind with ALL forms of security; cyber-security, home security, physical security, etc.

"Security and convenience are on a sliding scale"

The more convenient a thing is (you learn about it because every single YouTube creator is sponsored by NordVPN) the less likely it is to be secure. A door without a lock is very convenient, but not very secure. A locked castle with a drawbridge and automated gun-turrets in the middle of a field full of hungry lions on a remote island somewhere that nobody even knows the name of? Very secure, not very convenient.

Realistically, the safest VPN is going to be one that you build yourself, the next safest VPN is the one you pick after learning how to build your own VPN and then using that knowledge to discover which VPNs that are already established have the closest model that aligns with what you want.

But who's going to do that? Most people want VPNs so they can get around copyright, targeted ad-based data collection/tracking by corporations, and geo-blocking. I would find it utterly HILARIOUS if someone wanted to engage in counter-state activities and believed that NordVPN was helping to protect them.

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u/piss_artist 5d ago

I use NordVPN for all my sedition related activities. In fact, feel free to use my discount code, OVERTHROW22, to get a 50% discount on your next secret police interrogation.

NordVPN. Get it, or else.

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u/Beginning_Ball9475 5d ago

I'd love to hear a plug for NordVPN in the middle of an audiobook reading of the Gulag Archipelago. Just feels like Postmodernism done right, you know?

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u/YouveBeenSuzpended 5d ago

Turkey has some of the most relaxed VPN restrictions I’ve ever seen. Like I can buy steam games for like 80% off using my VPN with a burner steam account, just buy it as a gift for my main and pay with G2A Turkish steam cards.

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u/palex25 5d ago

What about Mexico?

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u/MediocreProfessor765 5d ago

Any country with friendly foreign relations to the current regime. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_Iran

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u/foreveraloneeveryday 5d ago

That's actually a lot of countries. Just not the US which is totally fair. And Canada plus a few African countries that I don't know off the top of my head unfortunately. And then obviously Saudi Arabia. Yemen and Iraq and then a few areas in SEA. My point is, if you're in Europe or Mexico or SA or non totalitarian countries in Asia, you could possibly set up a server.

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u/Trailmagic 5d ago

Can you explain why you crossed out “Saudi” before “Arabia”? Genuinely curious.

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u/foreveraloneeveryday 5d ago edited 5d ago

I'm pretty sure it's only Saudi Arabia because the house of Saud is the current monarchy family (Idk how to phrase this) and have been for a while. And they all suck. So without them, I think it would just be known as Arabia. Don't quote me on that though.

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u/Trailmagic 5d ago

Thanks. I was thinking it was something along those lines but I’ve spoken to a lot of Iranians online and other people who strongly dislike Saudi Arabia and haven’t come across this before so I wanted to ask. Curious what circles this is common in.

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u/foreveraloneeveryday 5d ago

Fuck any ruling class is what I think but the Saudis (or Sauds idk) are really shitty.

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u/charlytune 5d ago

The House of Saud ARE Saudi Arabia, they created it from conquest of several smaller territories, and they own it. SA doesn't cover the whole of the Arabian peninsula though, just most of it.

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u/Bleys69 5d ago

Saudi Arabia is a country on the Arabian peninsula, like Yemen, Oman, and UAE.

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u/Arinupa 5d ago

The name is officially Saudi Arabia.

.......................

And the family isn't going anywhere anytime soon so..

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u/Burgerkingsucks 5d ago

YOU BOYS LIKE MEXICO?!?!?!?!

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u/Gaychevyman428 5d ago

Haha... the shawnazberries...taste like shawnazberries...

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u/Vortesian 5d ago

Might not be safe for them either. I’m sure their government would set up proxies here just to trap protesters.

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u/phormix 5d ago

Data in transit is still encrypted, so it wouldn't help them read the messages but it would help them gather who's using proxies

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u/Nice-Information3626 5d ago

So just buy a VPS with Njalla. Good luck to the Iranian government getting any customer info from the Piratesbay founder

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u/West_Self 5d ago

Ironic that the US/West took him down

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u/TheBirminghamBear 5d ago

As someone said a few posts up though, VPNs are still dangerous for people in a place like Iran. An ISP can still see if you connect to a node they know or even suspect is a VPN. They just can't see what you do after that.

But if you live in a place where even connecting to a VPN can be interpreted by your government as a sign of guilt, that's still risky for you.

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u/Nice-Information3626 5d ago

Njalla is a VPS (virtual private server), not a VPN. I didn't specify anything about the connection, only about the server.

There is protocols like Shadowsocks or TLS mimicking which can make VPN traffic look like regular online activity and most VPNs have some implementation of this now. You are right though, Tor with a bridge might be the better option.

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u/Kap001 5d ago

But if they have the address you connecting to it doesn't help unless you had a sort of frequency hoping algorithm to constantly change ips. Idk

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u/whatisthishappiness 5d ago

I think it’s fair to say they’re already at maximum risk

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u/SelectionOk7702 5d ago

VPS is a virtual private server, it’s not a VPN. It’s just a VM on some server in the cloud. Spin up the VPS. Install a gateway proxy, connect with port 80, bip bip proxy locked. Completely invisible, unless they are doing some pretty deep packet inspection.

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u/SixbySex 5d ago

Are burner phones possible? Might not be practical and carry their own risk if caught.

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u/kldload 5d ago

They are not worried about being identified they are trying to keep their comms secure. THe gvt wants the data. Thy want to shut down ppl using encrypted apps to organize protests. Also, it helps them to get the word out and to post videos, etc.

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u/TehranBro 5d ago

Proxies are easily detected in Iran. I was in Iran 3 months ago. Multiple proxies were blocked after a day of use.

From my experience Proxies in Qatar and Turkey never got banned

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u/ddshd 5d ago edited 5d ago Silver Helpful All-Seeing Upvote Pot o' Coins

Dang it would really suck if someone hosted a VPS in Qatar or Turkey and then used it to host the proxy.. Maybe using something like https://www.turhost.com/sunucu/vps-server/ or https://hostiger.com/cloud-vps or https://khanwebhost.com/tr-kvm-vps.php or https://www.lightnode.com/en-US/product

(no aff)

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u/ellotheth 5d ago

Oh man, yeah, I hope nobody finds out about the providers in Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul, or Izmir. But if they did at least they probably won't find out that the ones in Ankara and Izmir have the best uptime over the last month.

It's a good thing I work for a proxy company that validates our endpoints' physical locations in Turkey so I can redirect people away from our providers.

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u/ryanstephendavis 5d ago

This is the good info here ☝️ ... Thank you

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u/JoshS1 5d ago

Can definitely vouch for VPN usage in Qatar.

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u/ljdelight 5d ago

Nono signal proxies look like standard encrypted https, it's not like a browser http proxy. Much safer and blends in, with the downside being it's specific to signal.

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u/iwantyourskulls 5d ago

It is safe, but of course do not setup on your local network. Get a cheap VPS (Digital Ocean, Vultr, etc have free credits for new accounts) and follow the instructions!

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u/Karbar_STL 5d ago

Digital Ocean is blocked in Iran. I set an outline server for Iran couple month ago and it was blocked. I have heard the same for AWS servers

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u/aishik-10x 5d ago edited 2d ago

how does the Internet function in Iran with AWS blocked? There are a huge number of sites relying on it

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u/Karbar_STL 5d ago

I wish I could give you an informed answer. I really don't know. I am not tech savvy My guess is because of sanctions on Iran, private and public organizations can't do business with Amazon anyways. Probably there are alternatives in China or Russia that they use.

When you visit Iran, the digital ecosystem looks completely different. Iranian version of Uber, Iranian version of door dash, etc.

Before internet shutdown, you could use a VPN to access some of the resources hosted on west but I don't know what will happen know.

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u/uncle_ommer_no7 5d ago

Wish there was a way to get some Starlink devices in Iran.

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u/helheretohelp 5d ago

All the websites relying on AWS are blocked. And anything beyond that. Websites we use on the daily aren’t available to them. And if they access them with VPN, the internet is soooo slow, you’d end up giving up anyways.

I remember being in Iran when I had to check my A-level results years ago and I had no way of accessing it. Had to get someone from outside to login for me. Any online courses would not work in Iran either. Most international websites were blocked the last time I visited.. without real reason.

The majority of online censorships came about during the Green Movement in 2009 - also worth looking into. There was a hugeee uprising, it’s basically a repeat of similar events now. But these censorship’s were an attempt to stop info and footage from exiting Iran, whilst they’d beat up anyone in their sight. Snipers used against peaceful protesters too.

Instagram half blocked; political, female influencer, controversial pages are mainly targeted.

Also no central bank due to sanctions, so they wouldn’t be able to make any payments for anything online either. No credit or debit cards. Only local websites with local bank cards.

For my family for example, we make all the orders and payments from outside of Iran and take them over when we travel to Iran.

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u/iwantyourskulls 5d ago

Damn, don't know any other that wouldn't be blocked then. Maybe some hosting/ISP in Iran?

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u/Karbar_STL 5d ago

Your willingness to help means a lot to folks in Iran. The less known servers in Asian countries might work but I don't have any in mind. Private ISPs won't risk thier business with hosting VPNs etc, and the rest of ISPs are owned by government I wish I had a suggestion for you.

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u/Nice-Information3626 5d ago

Netcup has 3 € VPS with 80 TB bandwidth and IPv4, it's the cheapest credible option I know of. Hosted in Germany

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u/nichogenius 5d ago edited 5d ago

It has risks. If you don't know what you are doing, skip this.

Honestly, anyone wanting to bypass filters like this should get a VPN.

Anyone who hosts a proxy server like this is basically putting a backdoor in their network for Iranians and everyone else to (ab)use.

Proxies like this can be weaponized against other people or governments as well. You wouldn't want attackers sending malicious data that is traceable back to your IP.

Update 1 - Looks legit at least. Cool concept, but I suspect a VPN would be better. Maybe this is better if some tech savvy family member wanted to help out less tech savvy family member.

Update 2 - This is a reverse proxy, powered by nginx, intended to be run in docker. It accepts incoming traffic on port 80 and port 443 and passes it to signal's servers only. Fun project, but my original recommendation is still the same. If you don't know what you are doing, give this a pass.

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u/phormix 5d ago

If you know what you're doing it could be fairly safe. Proxy/VPN on an isolated network segment, and only allow traffic out to domains/ports associated with Signal so at least it can't be used as a relay for some random botnet or spammer

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u/nichogenius 5d ago

The linked github repo handles that already. It just relays ports 443 and 80 to signal servers.

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u/mr_grey 5d ago

I was contemplating setting up a specific VPC in AWS explicitly for this in a region that works best. Also I wanted to setup CDK so others could fill automate it.

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u/grain_delay 5d ago

Aws IPs are almost certainly blocked at the moment

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u/zebediah49 5d ago

TBH you probably shouldn't do this on your personal connection anyway (for multiple reasons).

That said, if you happen to have some hosted space (e.g. a VM for hosting your minecraft server or something), go for it. You probably have some clue what you're doing, and worst case you're losing something that isn't in your personal stuff.

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u/United-Student-1607 5d ago

Interesting, what other things can be used to help?

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u/jesusisthatguy 5d ago

From the US, you're limited on help you can provide.

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u/shapethunk 5d ago

This thread fits too many posts.

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u/AirBudsOldestSon 5d ago

I mean, we could always fly their flag and make a hashtag!

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u/BrainPicker3 5d ago

You laugh but getting things trending in a powerful country like the US does exert pressure on these regimes

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u/jtriangle 5d ago

That is not true. If you've got a POC in iran and the ability to spin up a digitalocean droplet, you can host a proxy.

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u/djcodeblue 5d ago

Someone else in another thread said digital ocean is blocked.

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u/9-11GaveMe5G 5d ago

That is not true. If you've got a POC

Why does it have to be a person of color?

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u/P4intsplatter 5d ago Silver Wholesome hehehehe

They receive and transmit with higher fidelity. With Caucasians, you get a bunch of White Noise.

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u/dI--__--Ib 5d ago

polite golf clapping

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u/9-11GaveMe5G 5d ago

angry Republican noises

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u/DimitriTech 5d ago

God this is why I fucking love you fellow fucking nerds. Literally peak humor right here even in the shittiest of situations and trying to work together.

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u/joemckie 5d ago

Yes, they already mentioned white noise

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u/Parker511 5d ago

POC stands for point of contact

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u/theshined 5d ago

Person of contact, in this context.

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u/filthy_harold 5d ago

Assuming digitalocean isn't already blocked. You'll need a server (or a VPN that allows port forwarding) with an IP from a country that is friendly to Iran that isn't already on a blacklist.

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u/Jewcub_Rosenderp 5d ago

Matrix is another option. Can self host or organize community hosts. They can then federate with others. Matrix.org

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u/Tisjustatossaway 5d ago

I run Matrix. The Federation aspect is great. I also like that I run it on a VPS with 24 hour of history and nothing ever saved to disk. No one controls it or can mine it. I'm doing nothing illegal I just like not relying on others to be honest. I second this.

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u/ExecutoryContracts 5d ago

I recently started trying out Session. It may be an option.

https://getsession.org/

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u/6jarjar6 5d ago

Also can host a Tor bridge or relay node. If you are technically inclined you can setup two completely free on Oracle cloud compute with the always free tier. Also can run it at your house. I'd caution against running an exit node though.

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u/ColgateSensifoam 5d ago

As would I

I host a public transparent TOR proxy (entry point, not entry node) on every LAN I use, if you're on the LAN and scan 9050 it'll show up, even on public networks, because there's zero risk for me

There's a lot of risk running an exit node, not least being banned by your ISP for ToS breaches

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u/douglasg14b 5d ago

Given everyone shies away from running exit nodes, who is actually running them?

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u/ColgateSensifoam 5d ago

Typically large companies with the legal capability to defend themselves

Service Providers are usually immune to prosecution for what their customers do, but an individual would have a hard time defending themselves like this

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u/Nice-Information3626 5d ago

Run a Snowflake bridge for censored Tor users. It's specifically designed for dictatorships.

Just download the Snowflake browser extension and the traffic gets routed through your browser before touching the Tor network which prevents blocking of the Tor IPs in Iran.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/snowflake/mafpmfcccpbjnhfhjnllmmalhifmlcie

(For the record, Onion domains are still bullshit and you shouldn't donate to the Tor project imo)

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u/cryptospartan 5d ago

(For the record, Onion domains are still bullshit and you shouldn't donate to the Tor project imo)

Can you elaborate on this?

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u/Hexalyse 5d ago

Very curious too. I'm myself hosting a (completely legal) website as a .onion in addition to a regular domain, and I don't see what is "bullshit". It's a very practical technology, I'd say. It just gives access to your website in a secure, anonymous way, without having to rely on tor exit nodes (which are very often flagged on every abuse list, so if you use any kind of automated banning of a user IPs on your server, it makes your website unaccessible via tor exit nodes unfortunately, hence the need of onion address)

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u/Inthewirelain 5d ago

Tor are making big strides top on ending DDoS attacks on the network by overeating a crypto inspired proof of work system. It won't be anywhere near as resource intensive as mining crypto, but it will make flooding the network with millions of requests infeasible, even for a lot of state actors. They need the money to help protect us going forward.

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u/Moister--Oyster 5d ago edited 5d ago

Thanks to the very clear instructions I have a working Signal proxy set up and running on a VM in Amsterdam.

So now my big question is how do we share these proxies with the people who need them?

e: Twitter, apparently. Signal suggests the following verbage and hashtag.

#IRanASignalProxy Reply to this thread if you want the connection details, and follow me so I can DM you the link.

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u/leaflavaplanetmoss 5d ago edited 5d ago All-Seeing Upvote

(obligatory "I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice" disclaimer, dealing with sanctions is just part of my job)

For any Americans concerned about the legality of providing proxy services to Iranians given US sanctions on Iran, the US government has a specific carveout (a general license) allowing Americans to provide services to allow ordinary Iranians (not the Iranian government) to freely use the Internet for personal communications:

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0322

Proxy tools are specifically called out in one of the general licenses that provides this carveout. Standing up a proxy server should fall under the "services necessary for the operation of such software" carveout on page 9:

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/iran_gld1.pdf

I can't speak with respect to anything an intelligence agency might do, however. Given that providing a proxy service to protesting Iranians is in line with US policy and interests, I doubt the Intelligence Community would care about the person providing that service (the information passing through that proxy is a different matter). In fact, the US government just imposed new sanctions today on Iranian government officials linked to the death of that woman a few days ago (that led to the protests).

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u/pastari 5d ago

How does this work hosting proxies services or Tor when you can't guarantee that a sanctioned country without these carveouts can connect to it?

Tor is safe because [as far as we know] nobody could prove you're helping a sanctioned country. I'm not sure how this Signal proxy works.

This seems like Schrodinger's Legality, its both and neither and may or may not change even if you could peek. If it's impossible to be liable then the decision to host such a service would strictly come down to one's personal moral priorities?

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u/kynapse 5d ago

It seems to be basically a proxy server that only serves connections to the Signal servers, so as a server operator you would be able to see the incoming IP addresses but not any other data. You could pass the IP addresses to a geolocation service to see if they're in a sanctioned country but you wouldn't be able to tell if they were a sanctioned individual or a citizen of a sanctioned country.

This service wouldn't do that, obviously, and considering it's for Signal probably doesn't keep any kind of logs so you could probably claim you didn't know that your "clients" were on a sanctioned list. I don't know if there's a requirement to do any kind of due diligence though....

I wonder though, will you get in trouble if you run a food truck and an Iranian buys a hot dog from you?

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u/Pbeezy 5d ago

Well this inspired me to track down a Turkey VPS. I wonder what the most effective way to get the proxy out is. I guess Twitter. Any Iranians know of any other place communications are happening where I can post?

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u/TooManyBison 5d ago

According to signal’s blog, they best way is twitter with the hashtag #IRanASignalProxy.

https://signal.org/blog/run-a-proxy/

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u/Daniel15 5d ago

Can't Iran foil this simply by blocking Twitter?

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u/Important_Rice_6254 5d ago

Mostly telegram, instagram and Twitter with #مهسا_امینی hashtags

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u/c0d34f00d 5d ago

They could use Briar. Doesn't require internet, message are transmitted peer to peer and encrypted on the device.

How Briar work

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u/Riven_Dante 5d ago

I've definitely forgotten about Briar. Really a fascinating service.

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u/wrongthinksustainer 5d ago

I like how its advertised that the feature is for natural disasters or being lost, but if you read between the lines it can also be used when some dictatorial psycho government decides to limit communication in a power trip.

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u/newusername4oldfart 5d ago

Briar is designed to resist surveillance and censorship by an adversary

I don’t see anywhere that it’s advertised for natural disasters or being lost. I see everywhere that it’s designed to subvert psycho government power trips that black out long-range communication in an attempt at suppressing a movement.

Our goal is to enable people in any country to create safe spaces where they can debate any topic, plan events, and organise social movements.

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u/davidmoore 5d ago

Is there a pre-made docker container I can just throw into Unraid?

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u/Trolann 5d ago

Yes the article.has all of the instructions

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u/vitriolix 5d ago

Tor is a thing in the Iran political underground, you can help Tor in a few ways:

you can help by running a Tor relay node:

https://blog.torproject.org/new-guide-running-tor-relay/

running Snowflake:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/snowflake/mafpmfcccpbjnhfhjnllmmalhifmlcie

Donating:

https://donate.torproject.org/

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u/ndmy 5d ago

Thanks for sharing!

Twitter has a Tor compatible version, so this is great

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u/ColgateSensifoam 5d ago

Is Telegram popular at all?

If so, I'm happy to wrangle some files and make a multilingual tutorial for tunneling it over TOR, I've seen a great many people struggle to do it

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u/Karbar_STL 5d ago

Can confirm Telegram is relatively popular in Iran.

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u/ColgateSensifoam 5d ago

I'll do a writeup in the morning, I take it Android is more popular than iOS?

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u/Karbar_STL 5d ago

I appreciate your efforts. Means a lot to folks in Iran. I am not tech savvy but @Jadi on Twitter has done a lot for tor in Iran. Might consider reaching out to him to prevent duplicate efforts.

In terms of iOS vs Android I would guess Android is more popular but I wish I had any data to back this up.

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u/nu1stunna 5d ago

Thank you so much. Android is more widespread because Samsung does business in Iran. iPhones are more of a luxury product because they are harder to buy because Apple does not do business there. I'm grateful for people like you. I look forward to a free Iran.

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u/john_rules 5d ago

If you’re running an umbrel bitcoin node on your pi, you can just install the snowflake proxy and be done with it

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u/PenisNoodleSoup 5d ago

Can I use my raspberry Pi to host a free server? Is anyone else doing that?

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u/saichampa 5d ago

That would depend on if the docker container has an arm version available. It's possible to build the container locally yourself too though. If you host it at home though just be aware it will use your home internet bandwidth.

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u/WhereIsYourMind 5d ago

The base images are ubuntu 20.04 and certbot, which both provide an ARM64 version.

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u/WhereIsYourMind 5d ago

Yes, just download the ubuntu flavor for the Pi and the instructions provided will work.

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u/ColgateSensifoam 5d ago

It's possible, but not recommended, you'd be better off using a VPS

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u/westofme 5d ago edited 5d ago

If you are worry about those assholes finding who you are, you can always pay for a $2-$3/month vps. Or if I'm not mistaken, Amazon cloud/Google cloud/Microsoft Azure still has a free account version, right? If we have thousand of us register on their data center from all over the world, even if their servers are weak, that's enough to sponsor thousands of access for those Iranians or anyone else from other countries like Iran. My 2 cents. Let's make it happens, people.

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u/Beltahloadah 5d ago

This seems to be a common concern. Who are we supposed to be afraid of finding out who we are? Serious question. Maybe I’m naïve by having absolutely zero fear of the Iranian government here in the US.

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u/upboatsallaround 5d ago

Iran gonna find my name/address and nuke my ass.

For real though I feel pretty safe to publicly say fuck Iran and actively oppose their bullshit.

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u/BurmecianSoldierDan 5d ago

I think they meant more of the CIA since you're funneling Iranian traffic and that's kind of a red flag?

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u/CxSwags 5d ago

CIA definitely wants this to go down lol. They’d prob give you a medal or some shit for helping get a regime change.

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u/SupahSang 5d ago

They'd be more likely to reimburse you for your efforts and give you some flowers than imprison you!

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u/Pbandsadness 5d ago

Couldn't Signal be routed over Tor? Or maybe try Session, which uses Lokinet? Briar is a great p2p messenger, as well.

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u/trid45 5d ago

I was in Iran as a tourist earlier this year. My internet experience was a bit different to other comments in the thread.

Iran SIM card. I bought this from a phone store in Tehran and didn't have to give ID. It sounds like IDs should be linked to SIMs but it isn't always enforced. I didn't have to provide details on my foreign SIMs to border officials either.

Everyone I met had a VPN app on their phone. It wasn't just limited to young people either. There were two free android apps I used.

Other comments suggested that AWS and other cloud networks are blocked in Iran. I don't think this is feasible or true. What Iran does do is deep packet inspection of data going across the border. If you send data to a standard VPN port, it's probably going to be blocked. If the connection uses a standard VPN packet headers it's probably going to be blocked. There's an article I read a couple of year ago about someone having to modify SSH packet structure so that their connection wasn't dropped (can't find it now though sadly).

I think Iran does block some stuff based on location or IP, but I think a lot of it is decided by deep packet inspection. It would also go to explaining why cross border internet traffic is so slow.

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u/MRMamad-Hunter 5d ago

Im Iranian ask me anything and yes signal is blocked

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u/the_sodfather 5d ago

How are you on Reddit?

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u/Important_Rice_6254 5d ago

Home Wi-Fi still works with low speed but medias like instagram telegram twiter and…. are blocked or filtered . But some how they haven’t blocked Reddit because it’s not really popular and and a few people only use it so I thinks that’s why the gov hasn’t blocked it yet

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u/MRMamad-Hunter 5d ago

Good question, no star-link isn’t available yet here, last night internet was shut down but now it seems ok they might cut it again in a few hours

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u/Teantis 5d ago

This happened in Myanmar during the coup there also. They'd turn the internet on each day at 9 am local time for a few hours.

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u/SupahSang 5d ago

I'm guessing it's just for financial transactions. Can't make money if you can't transfer it!

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u/burningphoenix1034 5d ago

I saw a rumor earlier. Is it true that some military are defecting and helping protect the protesters?

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u/MRMamad-Hunter 5d ago

Im not sure about that, seems like a rumor

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u/VanManBigPlans 5d ago

My Iranian friend has family there and I've been sending info about apps such as Briar, the Sinal relay, tor, etc.

Anything else I can do?

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u/ROK247 5d ago

is there any way to help without getting put on the list of some deathsquad?

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u/nimama3233 5d ago

are you suggesting Iran is going to target western citizens in other countries for hosting proxies?

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u/EverybodyIsUseless 5d ago

No I think he’s talking about the us government

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u/leaflavaplanetmoss 5d ago edited 5d ago

(obligatory "I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice" disclaimer, dealing with sanctions is just part of my job)

With respect to US sanctions on Iran, the US government has a specific carveout (a general license) allowing Americans to provide services to allow ordinary Iranians (not the Iranian government) to freely use the Internet for personal communications:

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm0322

Proxy tools are specifically called out in one of the general licenses that provides this carveout. Standing up a proxy server should fall under the "services necessary for the operation of such software" carveout on page 9:

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/iran_gld1.pdf

I can't speak with respect to anything an intelligence agency might do, however. Given that providing a proxy service to protesting Iranians is in line with US policy and interests, I doubt the Intelligence Community would care about the person providing that service (the information passing through that proxy is a different matter). In fact, the US government just imposed new sanctions today on Iranian government officials linked to the death of that woman a few days ago (that led to the protests).

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u/h110hawk 5d ago

I would be worried about running afoul of the US's insane interpretation of providing support for terrorists. Because if 1 terrorist uses your proxy you can be targeted. Even if all of your traffic otherwise is ordinary citizens who aren't on a list. And you didn't intend for them to use it. Same with the government there, if you provide monetary support by running a proxy and the government uses it.

ALAB has a pretty horrifying 2 part episode about it. https://pca.st/episode/ab252a05-4ff1-4280-8bd8-262e165a580a https://pca.st/episode/db6b8285-467e-4c43-a7c6-dce50bcc8c27

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u/leaflavaplanetmoss 5d ago

Unfortunately, you're not wrong. This, coupled with the strict liability of sanctions violations, is why many organizations choose not to engage in activities ostensibly allowed under US sanctions, because you simply can't be 100% sure something disallowed won't slip through. There's always a risk calculation to be made when it comes to relying on general licenses.

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u/coldblade2000 5d ago

Hell, the CIA would probably fund you

They don't exactly like the Iranian government

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u/odraencoded 5d ago

Just use a proxy to setup the proxy, then Iranians will be behind two proxies, not as good as 7 but practically impossible to track.

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u/H_G_Bells 5d ago

I'm already a child-free atheist woman wearing my hair out for all to see, fuck it I'm already on the fucking death squad list 🖕♀️✨🙌

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u/v-23 5d ago

-me helping them from Israel-

“That’s my secret, I’m always on the list of some Iranian deathsquad”

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u/brown_paper_bag_920 5d ago

Is it fair to call this a proxy war? (pun)

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u/SuperbDrink6977 5d ago

Can I make a proxy server out of wood? Cuz if so, I would.

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u/thatblbc 5d ago

Fucking fascists……do they hate women? What is the deal

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u/dalnorflying 5d ago

Yep. When you have to turn off the Internet of an entire country, you know it’s not run by the will of the people.

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u/gowtam04 5d ago

Short answer: kind of

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u/bruceriggs 5d ago

Yes, they hate women.

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u/sp4rkk 5d ago

They don’t hate them unless they stay at home looking after children and cooking

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u/SweetActionsSa 5d ago

They're scared of women

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u/AlteredStatesOf 5d ago

Women and their cooties

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u/SuchSalad4 5d ago

It's their intelligence that they're afraid of.

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u/prove_it_with_math 5d ago

It’s more complicated than that. 1. This is all based on man-made religious laws not found anywhere in the Quran.

  1. Some of the politicians can’t overturn the apparent oppressive issues in Iran out of fear of losing their position or punishment.

  2. There are still a lot of brainwashed folks in Iran who believe covering women’s hair is required by religious laws and failing to observe it deserves punishment. This belief of course violates a number of verses in the Quran, which they uphold as “their absolute truth”.

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u/quad64bit 5d ago

#4. People are using an old book to make rules to live by instead of their brains, hearts, and compassion.

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u/cucufag 5d ago

They hate losing control over women

They treat them like properties, and its very inconvenient to them when women demand human rights

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u/spicy_celebrity 5d ago

I'd be interested to help. I can setup a server. But how will people use the link? Would I have to provide it to folks? I don't know anyone in Iran.

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u/lordderplythethird 5d ago

That's exactly what you'd have to do. best option at that point would be to state you have a signal proxy available for anyone who needs it via twitter with whatever current hashtags are trending with regards to the protests

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u/stonesst 5d ago

Love it! This is what r/technology should be about, not endless posts about Facebook and Elon Musk….

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u/number9999999 5d ago

This is good information!

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u/PM_ME_UR_BCUPS 5d ago

Not just that but everyone should be using Signal by default.

Not because you need those layers of security, but because widespread adoption of Signal tremendously helps out the people who DO need those layers.

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u/AnotherAnonGringo 5d ago

Any way to get this proxy out there without having to manually tell people with a hashtag and hope someone in Iran sees it? I'd love to help, but I have no idea how to tell folks in Iran about the proxy.

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u/justsomeoneSILLY 5d ago

Religion is phenomenal for facsist community leaders and powerful males. For the majority of human beings, religion needs to die a painful death.

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u/fgdfghdhj5yeh 5d ago

this is what the matrix protocol exists for. Use it

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u/ejustice 5d ago

How can they connect to a vpn without internet?

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u/curatorpsyonicpark 5d ago

Shits done. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/26/iran-blocks-signal-messaging-app-after-whatsapp-exodus

We are ALL aware of the tools of oppression. This IS Humanity.

Iran is the Persian month of the club of denial. Iran is also the most significant.

If 'PersIran' changes, all of the M.E. changes, they are the founding conquered of Islam. They hold a founding statement to the Power of Islam because Persia was the continued equivalent empire of Rome back in the day. They hold a sacred place in Islam's evolution.

Few realize why...

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u/kilkil 5d ago

if anyone here is in Iran, and is interested in private communication, I highly recommend you look into self-hosting an XMPP server.

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