Just to let everyone know, we’re switching over to SIP signalling for the new Android app that we’re testing internally and that caused an outage . Apparently, there aren’t many other internet communications companies in Iceland using SIP and they assumed it was an attack on our servers. The main firewall had to be reconfigured and everything should be back to normal now so we shouldn’t have this problem in the future. Sorry for any inconvenience.Read more
We had a real eye opener last week. Many people had trouble reaching Unseen.is, but some people had no problems whatsoever. The servers were all operating normally; what could cause this problem? I won’t get overly technical, but I think you’ll find the evidence to be persuasive that we’re now entering a new stage of internet censorship, done a bit differently than you might have expected.
It turns out that three network routers, the devices that sit in the data centers that make up the backbone of the internet, flaked out at the same time and dropped many of the packets some of our users were sending to the Unseen.is servers. That three of them would have a problem like this isn’t just highly unusual, it’s actually something suspicious and indicates that they were being targeted to degrade our service and make our customers upset. Here’s a story that came out yesterday (Feb 7th) that talks about this exact subject…the NSA and GCHQ have programs to do precisely this sort of thing and HERE’s the PROOF! If you ever doubted it, this is how they will censor the web in the future (before they go to full lockdown of the internet).
In China, they just blockade the whole thing, to show people who’s really in charge and it’s up to groups like Falun Gong to break through it to let people in China know the truth…or get blamed for a fault in the Great Firewall (when they didn’t do anything). In the West, they’ll need to be more subtle, the peasants might get restless because they still believe they have human rights.
Based on screen grabs from our computers, it appears they can target certain sites, web pages (we’ve seen this with Before It’s News, but finally here’s the proof), individuals and regions and degrade the performance of the internet to prevent access. Most people will just assume “the Internet is having a bad day” because they will talk to friends who can still get to a site or story and assume something is wrong with their computer or local connection. If you can’t see or get something, you might assume it doesn’t exist, like an email you never received. You don’t miss something you never had.
I call this a “soft” Great Firewall and we’d been warned about this by several former military intelligence people. The switch can be flipped at any time and to any degree. To do this you’d need to control or be able to hack your way in to any router on the internet, including those owned by individuals. You should assume the major national security services all have this capability. Some services have their own switching gear at critical locations, I’ve known this since 1997, as our ISP at the time pointed out “the NSA room” that was intercepting and duplicating email and web site visit data. Things have definitely advanced since that time and there is now a Shadow Internet, controlled by these spy services that not only hoovers up data and sends it back to the big data center in the sky. They now actively degrade the internet to censor it.
First, let’s look at the traceroute, the program we use to see if the internet is behaving or not. This program sends packets to the final destination, and receives delivery confirmation from every stop along the way. Doing this, we’ll know how fast it goes, as well as how many packets are lost along the way. Once you go over about 30% packet loss, we have a hard time connecting to the Unseen.is server in Iceland.
The first thing you’ll notice on line 10 (London) and line 17 (the last router in Iceland) are the large percentage of lost packets. This degrades the performance getting to the server in Iceland. Line 17 is the last router you touch at our data center in Iceland, it’s just a few feet away from our servers and you can see the other hops are all behaving normally. According to our ISP, the only customer that was having problems with their switch was Unseen.is. That shows targeting of packets based on a web site.
Notice the high percentage of dropped packets at the same time in London, over 40%.
Once our ISP made a fix to the router in Iceland, the next morning, notice what happened to the router in London:
Now, 88% of the packets were being dropped in London!! Try to get through that!!
Kind of interesting that as soon as one of the routers got repaired that the other one acted up even more?!? This is definitely a good way to block traffic to a site, just degrade the performance until people can’t get through, but don’t make it a 100% blockage. It would be a good bet that they also have tools to see exactly who and how many people are getting bounced from a web page or site.
We had another user in the Midwest run a traceroute a couple of hours later (they are on Central Time, we’re on Pacific) to see what was happening from there, as they had problems reaching the site earlier:
That’s a Cable and Wireless switch in Germany dropping 27% of the packets (line 10) and it had been acting a lot worse earlier in the day, this was the screen grab they captured. We had THREE routers dropping a lot of packets at the same time. Some other users didn’t have any glitches at all, people in India were not affected, but people in Thailand were affected.
Things are now back to normal today. The London hop is still a bit high and we’ve notified our ISP about this. Performance to Iceland is normally quite good, so this is definitely an anomaly.
What does this attack mean for Unseen.is?
First, we’re encouraged about the state of our encryption. It must be pretty good because it takes a lot of work for a security agency to do a truck roll in Finland to hack into our new product manager’s computer and then to control these routers to degrade the traffic to our web site. They wouldn’t waste their time on easily broken “military grade” encryption.
The other point is we will need to make a priority of developing our anti-blocking technology. It’s becoming obvious that the internet in the West is becoming more like China’s every day. In China, because of the lack of transparency, they have managed to hide a large scale live organ harvesting program. We certainly don’t want to see anything like that happen anywhere else. Watch this video:
One thing is for certain — protecting communications and free and open communications are critical for the future of the world.
We’re on the right track with Unseen.
To the people wondering, “who are the people behind Unseen.is?”
I put my name, Chris Kitze, on this project front and center. You can go look me up. I’ve been in the high tech field for many years and have put my personal money behind this project. I felt it was very important for everyone to know who was running this kind of system.
However, we will NOT publicize the names of the people on our tech team — for their safety. Let me explain.
You need to understand something about our project. The encryption we developed ourselves is now effectively working. The standard encryption most everyone else is using (that we believe has been broken) has been now replaced on Unseen with something proprietary that’s much stronger. We’ll continue to upgrade our security every step of the way. You’ll notice that everyone else just runs their service without any problems using “military grade encryption”? We’ve come to discover that military grade encryption means the military can break it, they have tools to do this quite easily. This includes AES, RSA and SSL.
That means we’re now becoming targets of security agencies all over the world and here at Unseen we’ve been noticing that some of us have been getting more attention in this regard. To give you an example, several weeks ago we brought on a new product manager in Finland, Marko, who used to work at Nokia. Under my direction, he put up an Unseen company page on Linked In and added this page to his Linked In profile.
A few days later, his computer started acting strange and he noticed a large black GMC SUV parked outside his apartment in Finland. He went outside for a look and it had diplomatic plates…probably American because who else would import a big GMC to Finland. I’m guessing they broke into his wifi, the router and then his computer. It’s not that hard for them to do this and they have standard “toolkits” to do this kind of stuff. There’s really nothing for anyone to get from any of our computers. We don’t store any customer information and our plans are pretty much out in the open — we only care about helping good people keep their communications private and learn the truth. We’re not helping people steal things, we just help them protect their own property. For us, it’s mainly an inconvenience reformatting drives and cleaning things up.
Needless to say, we’ve had some of our personal computers hacked (none of the servers that contain your data) since we announced this project and it’s quite time consuming to redo our computers every few weeks.
Another factor is many of us are Falun Gong practitioners and a big reason we’re developing this tool is to bring the truth about the persecution to people in China. This ancient spiritual practice is heavily persecuted in China. Some of our developers still live in communist countries and their lives could be in peril if we disclosed publicly who they were. In fact, one person on our team spent time in prison for broadcasting the truth into China, from a place where it’s supposed to be legal to do this kind of thing. You can find out more about this persecution, which has been going on since 1999 and even includes live organ harvesting here: http://faluninfo.net
So that’s a little background on the people behind our service. How many of the people at other services would go to jail to help people learn the truth about something?
That’s about all I can offer you. We’re a virtual organization with people all over the world and our company and its assets are now based in Iceland. You’ll need to decide for yourself if you want to use our service or not. We’re not going to force anyone to use Unseen. No system is perfect, but we do promise to do the best by all of our users.