Hammas Bin Tanveer is a senior ICFP fellow in Information Control with the Censored Planet Lab at The University of Michigan, currently working at the intersection of next-generation technologies and internet censorship.
In recent times, censors have been involved in an arms race against censorship circumvention tools. One such censorship circumvention tool is Tor. Although censors started with rather unsophisticated techniques like blocking the Tor website, they soon started to deploy more sophisticated techniques like deep packet inspection. This arms race has pushed Tor to create newer, harder to break, censorship circumvention tools which resulted in the creation of Tor bridges. Tor bridges work differently than the conventional Tor relays in that they are not publicly listed and therefore require a more involved approach to censor. Previous studies have revealed techniques deployed by censors in an effort to block Tor bridges.
During the course of this fellowship, Hammas aims to understand the censorship mechanisms around Tor bridges over IPv6. His previous work has revealed that there are censorship implementation gaps between DNS over IPv4 and IPv6 resulting in lesser DNS censorship over IPv6. This fellowship aims to find similar censorship gaps between Tor bridges over IPv4 and IPv6 and explore a possibility of creating censorship resistant Tor bridges using the vast address space of IPv6.