Google uProxy could help fight Internet censorship
At its Ideas Summit in New York, Google has announced that it is working on developing a browser extension that will act as an easy-to-use way to bypass country-specific Internet censorship and make connections safer and more private.
The tool, which was developed by the University of Washington and seeded by Google, is at its core a peer-to-peer personalized virtual private network (VPN) that redirects Internet traffic coming from an initial, less secure connection through a second, trusted connection, and then encrypts the pathway between the two terminals.
Whenever you access the Internet, the connection is routed through a number of terminals. At each step of the way the connection may be blocked, surveilled, or even tampered with (especially if the data is not encrypted). On the whole, the safety and privacy of your data is only as good as the weakest link in the chain.
Google's solution with uProxy was to develop a tool that makes it much easier to make an unsafe connection more secure, with the help of a trusted friend.
The software, which will be available as a Chrome and Firefox extension to begin with, can use existing social networks like Facebook or Google Hangouts to help find users who already have uProxy installed on their system. If two users agree to use the service in tandem, the software can begin to make data connections safer.