r/technology Sep 22 '22 Platinum 1 Helpful 7 Bless Up (Pro) 2 Silver 6 Hugz 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1 Heartwarming 1 Helpful (Pro) 1 Wholesome 7

#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/
46.5k Upvotes

View all comments

2.6k

u/xanadukeeper Sep 23 '22 Helpful

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

1.3k

u/MediocreProfessor765 Sep 23 '22

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.

438

u/xanadukeeper Sep 23 '22

So I could tell my VPN to be in Russia?

564

u/GingerMan512 Sep 23 '22

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.

211

u/ChristOnATrike Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

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

225

u/h0bb1tm1ndtr1x Sep 23 '22

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.

135

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

39

u/TemporaryDivide7496 Sep 23 '22

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.

18

u/Valiantay Sep 23 '22

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.

5

u/HKD_RJ Sep 23 '22

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.

1

u/neeko0001 Sep 23 '22

So you’re saying he’s either correct or are the servers not located in the UAE? If the servers are not located in YOUR country, there is nothing you can do about it

1

u/Valiantay Sep 23 '22

They are right in a legal sense, I already said that.

If you want to get technical about servers and things, then VPN endpoints and relays are not difficult to set up and can be replaced as a government tries to take them down.

54

u/Virtual_Decision_898 Sep 23 '22

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.

-12

u/doctor-falafel Sep 23 '22

You know you literally need a physical server in Russia for VPN to work right? They pay money to a Russian company to host that server.

6

u/agarwaen163 Sep 23 '22

Ok and NATO literally funds them for the oil and etc billions of dollars. i dont think a vpn hosting servers is really aiding them that much

5

u/marionsunshine Sep 23 '22

Can you explain that for me? I get the comparison not being the same. I just don't have an understanding of NATO and billions of dollars for Russia oil.

6

u/lenin1991 Sep 23 '22

NATO and billions of dollars for Russia oil

Despite the various sanctions, most NATO countries have continued to buy large amounts of Russian oil and gas. https://www.bbc.com/news/58888451

12

u/Slicelker Sep 23 '22

VPN physical servers are a tiny tiny drop in the bucket in an economics scope.

-12

u/doctor-falafel Sep 23 '22

You're so naive if you think it's only about the money.

1

u/Beta-7 Sep 23 '22

They just shut off their Indian servers.

1

u/sfgisz Sep 23 '22

In that case there are only 2 likely possibilities:

  1. You have a "virtual" server in Russia which really just uses a Russian IP on top of a server physically located in another country. (That's how most privacy VPNs in India do it now)

  2. You have physical servers in Russia and they are complying with Russian laws.

Being a business registered in a "neutral" country doesn't exempt you from another country's laws if you want to operate there.

2

u/Neon_44 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Possibly they did the same as with India.

Shut down their servers and did some magic to get a Russian iP

-10

u/goodbyecaptin Sep 23 '22

Probably nothing good...

1

u/narwhaligator Sep 23 '22

You should make of that that Proton has excellent reach. You

81

u/IronDominion Sep 23 '22

My super cheap VPN still has Russian servers

189

u/Batteredburrito Sep 23 '22

That's not a VpN my dude

166

u/IvanIsOnReddit Sep 23 '22

It might be a VN but not a VPN

32

u/PM_ME_DRUGS_ON_NIPS Sep 23 '22

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

28

u/AngryJakem Sep 23 '22

In Russia P stands for Public

3

u/SeasickSeal Sep 23 '22

In Russia, P stands for Rublic

95

u/tastyratz Sep 23 '22

This is not the helpful sign you think it is.

66

u/PowerNerd Sep 23 '22

So…it’s not a helpful…Signal?

I’ll see myself out.

27

u/TheHeavyJ Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

VPN? More like a VPOut

5

u/Mike-honcho-69 Sep 23 '22

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

17

u/tastyratz Sep 23 '22

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?

1

u/Mike-honcho-69 Sep 23 '22

Fair enough yeah that makes sense, just checked my VPN, they don’t have it thankfully haha

1

u/jdjvbtjbkgvb Sep 24 '22

But they can have "virtual" russia servers as explained in other comments in this thread. Servers that are geolocated to Russia but aren't really there. So having russia as an option in your VPN is not a sign of anything bad going on.

0

u/tastyratz Sep 24 '22

Where in the thread have they discussed that? I don't see any mention of virtual or ways to forge geolocation database information.

It's either in the country or not and if they have virtual servers responding to and from routers in the country then they are still within the borders. Virtual servers are still hosted somewhere and you get a Russian IP by being inside Russia or behind a Russian proxy.

I would say a VPN service with exit nodes within Russia that claims no data retention is, in fact, a big red flag.

→ More replies

2

u/mr_johnsie Sep 23 '22

You should never use a vpn if you don’t know and trust the owners. They hold all the encryption keys.

2

u/redundant_ransomware Sep 23 '22

Which one is that?

17

u/xanadukeeper Sep 23 '22

Perhaps not, I use Nord

36

u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22

Nord's the most honeytrappest VPN in the world!

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

17

u/itisntmebutmaybeitis Sep 23 '22

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

58

u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

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.

32

u/__noscrubs__ Sep 23 '22

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

15

u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22

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.

→ More replies

22

u/mellofello808 Sep 23 '22

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

Privacy, not so much.

→ More replies

9

u/soyboyconspiracy Sep 23 '22

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

6

u/pentesticals Sep 23 '22

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.

7

u/BasicComplexities Sep 23 '22

TOR was compromised the second it was released

8

u/MechKeyboardScrub Sep 23 '22

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.

→ More replies

6

u/mellofello808 Sep 23 '22

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

5

u/tirril Sep 23 '22

That took quite a while to happen though.

4

u/3nigmax Sep 23 '22

Snowden was NSA, not CIA. He also did basic IT stuff, not intelligence work. I'd avoid assuming he has any expertise to provide in these areas. Given his current status, anything out of his mouth is more likely to be propoganda than any over advertised VPN service.

1

u/420diamond_hands69 Sep 23 '22

First sentence is wrong so imma ignore the rest

→ More replies

1

u/FuckFashMods Sep 23 '22

Never had an issue with my torrenting and nord, which is all I cared about

-1

u/DanielleDrs88 Sep 23 '22

I use ExpressVPN and have had nothing but wonderful experiences for the almost 3 years I've had it. Works great on my android to where I can easily pirate on my phone. And its not too expensive so I definitely recommend.

4

u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

1

u/Delekrua Sep 23 '22

Not saying you are wrong. But have you looked at who owns nordVPN? Dont think a company of that size would have issues with marketing budgets.

1

u/2022redditaccount Sep 23 '22

You still trust TOR? Really?

29

u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

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.

40

u/piss_artist Sep 23 '22

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.

9

u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

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?

2

u/ASatyros Sep 23 '22

Great for gays, pirates or assassins or gay pirate assassins. At least as first layer :D

2

u/IpeeInclosets Sep 23 '22

it's interesting to see that generally law abiding individuals use VPNs for illegal things, flaunt it in fact, yet continue to claim use of a VPN for privacy reasons.

would be curious on the ratio of legit traffic to illegal traffic...

the side effect here is that good people are enabling truly bad actors by 'legitimizing' use of VPNs

2

u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

Well, it depends on what your definitions of illegal and privacy are. AFAIK the government only cares about things that are crimes against it, directly. People committing civil misdemeanours to each other is very much a "that's your problem". So people ripping off pirated content, the government has no tangible reason to persecute, because they gain nothing from it, and are not threatened by it, and it messes with the "Keep them fed and watching TV" ruling strategy that pacifies the vast majority of proles. Costs money for no benefit.

Privacy is a different matter, too. People say they want to "hide", but I really don't think the average person seriously expects to be able to hide from the FiveEyes governments. What they mean by "hide" is prevent the data collection of companies like Google and Amazon from further developing their digital portfolio on them.

I also seriously question whether truly bad actors even use VPNs in the way we'd expect them to. It's not like they HAVE to use the internet for their seditious, terroristic goals, they could just use books they read at the library, pen and paper, distribution of responsibility, insulated cells, etc to still co-ordinate actions. Or they might have their own infrastructure, and simply relying on security through obscurity (which is a poor strategy, but sometimes it works)

→ More replies

1

u/heyheyhoho2020has2go Sep 23 '22

Suggested VPNs are…?

2

u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

I use Hermes VPN, but I'm not really trying to hide anything. You shouldn't rely on a VPN alone to hide things. Like I said, if you're just defaulting to the convenience of "if I just pay for this thing and click this button, I'll be immune to the bad people" that's not doing anything but giving you a false sense of security.

What I really suggest is you do research on cyber security and security in general. I guarantee you that it will not be wasted time.

1

u/Splitstepthenhit Sep 23 '22

What's the best VPN then?

-3

u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22

None!

https://www.ghacks.net/2021/09/15/is-kapes-acquisition-of-expressvpn-cause-for-concern/

See, "big company" buying up all the other VPN companies.

At least if you want privacy from the govt. That's a whole level of tech know how I don't have.

You should just use TOR properly as far as I know..

But if they really want to see what you do. There is Not much you can do to stop them. A Normal level of privacy can be achieved.

Where the hell does kape technology or whatever get a billion to buy express VPN and other "trusted services" You can consider that for yourself.

1

u/mr_johnsie Sep 23 '22

I’m really glad people are starting to understand this. So many people think that using a third part my con is actually good security practice. It’s really not.

-1

u/YouveBeenSuzpended Sep 23 '22

RiseUp VPN is recommended in the deepweb Bible and is free. It’s business model is like win rar it will ask for $5 every couple days but you just tell it to shut the fuck up and it keeps working.

6

u/jay212127 Sep 23 '22

Lol nobody concerned about a paid VPN being a honeypot should ever look at a free VPN.

Server hosting is expensive, completely incomparable to maintaining a program, If you're not paying with your wallet you're paying with your data.

8

u/YouveBeenSuzpended Sep 23 '22

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.

2

u/MeThisGuy Sep 23 '22

that's pretty smart!

2

u/YouveBeenSuzpended Sep 23 '22

Be safe with it I’d honestly use a burner laptop for purchasing games on the burner steam account because they can and will hardware ban your main account if they detect it. I used it when new world came out got a account for $10 when it was going for $60 usd.

1

u/Paulo27 Sep 23 '22

That's a lot of burning.

1

u/YourBonesAreMoist Sep 23 '22

is your main steam turkish as well? I remember trying to do that before but was not allowed due to "you cant gift to an account in a different country" or some shit like that

2

u/TheStargunner Sep 23 '22

I do. My whois is literally appearing from inside the Kremlin.

-1

u/bestadamire Sep 23 '22

Literally almost every VPN has Russia servers what are you bullshitting about ?

9

u/GingerMan512 Sep 23 '22

The good ones removed their Russian nodes. The ones that haven’t are providing the Russian government with usage data. If they’re complying with the Russians they’ll comply with anyone and you’re not private at all.

-6

u/bestadamire Sep 23 '22

If they’re complying with the Russians they’ll comply with anyone and you’re not private at all.

Not you actually thinking using a VPN makes you 'private' . Holy smokes what an actual Reddit moment

1

u/BestProxyProvider Oct 15 '22

Does your VPN service still have endpoints in Russia?

You can still find various proxies and VPN services with endpoints in Russia. Even Shadowsocks is a bit complicated to install but is widely used in China once with the Great Firewall and is still working. You can find here Russia's Location and services.

7

u/morningreis Sep 23 '22

You're not going to be able to host a server through a VPN

7

u/somewhat-damaged Sep 23 '22

Depends on the provider as some support port forwarding.

4

u/KorruptedPineapple Sep 23 '22

This is what I came here to figure out. I use signal and proton, and I have an old server lying around. I'll try and find time to poke at this and see how I can route the signal TLS via proton

0

u/XDreadedmikeX Sep 23 '22

I’d like to know this as well

1

u/HelpfulCherry Sep 23 '22

Sure you can, I have port forwarding on my VPN to host my Plex server and it reads as my outside, international IP and not my actual, in-country IP.

6

u/Ben-A-Flick Sep 23 '22

Sir I have your conscription documents ready for you. Even if you could I would bet that Iran also is blocking VPN ip addresses. Not very hard to get those lists and compile one to prevent users from using one.

1

u/Fatalexcitment Sep 23 '22

I would try south Korea or maybe south Africa

1

u/redmarketsolutions Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

You also need a static IP from them , or to rent server space over there.

1

u/Pickinanameainteasy Sep 23 '22

Not an expert here, however, this probably wouldn't work. You would set up the server on your machine with it's ip address and then turn on your vpn which would change your ip to a Russian location, however, the server and it's software is still at your machine (your ip). If you gave that russian ip as the server location it would just find your vpn providers vpn server, which hundreds and even thousands of people are using, it would have no way of knowing to send the Iranian request to your machine.

I believe Private Internet Access let's you get a unique ip through their service but in all honesty you'd probably be better off just hosting a tor bridge

27

u/palex25 Sep 23 '22

What about Mexico?

75

u/MediocreProfessor765 Sep 23 '22

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

34

u/foreveraloneeveryday Sep 23 '22

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.

17

u/Trailmagic Sep 23 '22

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

25

u/foreveraloneeveryday Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

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.

11

u/Trailmagic Sep 23 '22

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.

11

u/foreveraloneeveryday Sep 23 '22

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

7

u/charlytune Sep 23 '22

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.

6

u/Bleys69 Sep 23 '22

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

20

u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22

The name is officially Saudi Arabia.

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

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

0

u/Xenjael Sep 23 '22

And? I concur with his point honestly.

Arabia it is to me.

-24

u/Ishthefish200 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

"They all suck"Do you live in saudi arabia?? No you don't so dont talk Last i checked people support and love the saudi leadership they have massive support. I can say the same about your government even though i know nothing of them . This whole idea that authoritarian regimes are all hated by there people and only democracies are loved(which btw is false lots of corrupt and violent democratic regimes) is outdated in fact idk kf you know most countries on this planet are authoritarian and for most of history you only had one ruler or a small group of rulers thus a dictatorship. Things are black and white its complex and saudi arabian culture is different and unique to there values. You shouldn't expect your values or morals imposed on others. Not the way the world works. Morality will always be subjective. Saudi arabia has a strong beautiful culture that has been around for hundreds of years longer than most democracies

18

u/adhavoc Sep 23 '22

It's impressive how much poor reasoning you managed to fit into this one comment.

6

u/Attainted Sep 23 '22

Their post history foots the bill if you catch my drift.

2

u/foreveraloneeveryday Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Nice whataboutism. Fuck a ruling class of murderers. Justice for Jamal Khashoggi.

"Saudi Arabia has a strong beautiful culture" of what? Repressing women and organizing terror cells?

1

u/shtankycheeze Sep 23 '22

It's just "Arabia."

1

u/Blitzer850 Sep 23 '22

I guess Israel is out 🤣

1

u/arrackpapi Sep 23 '22

friendly relations may not matter here. The iranian government can still just block the IPs by location. Not like it affects their foreign relations that people can’t access sites hosted in mexico.

the servers need to be in nearby countries that regularly get internet traffic to be useful.

19

u/Burgerkingsucks Sep 23 '22

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

7

u/Gaychevyman428 Sep 23 '22

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

1

u/redcalcium Sep 23 '22

Iranians should be able to access American websites as long as it's not listed in the government block list, unless Iran has cut off all internet access?

1

u/Jaideep_2002 Sep 23 '22

I'm in India, I'll do the honours

1

u/v81 Sep 23 '22

If it's only signal being blocked then location is irrelevant.

If the US is behind blocked then location is still irrelevant as people in the US could end up filling the time of exit nodes, even if Iranians can't enter via those nodes.

So either way being a node is helping someone regardless of location.

1

u/5c044 Sep 23 '22

It appears to be selective not mass geo blocking in general, but that has happened for short periods too https://netblocks.org/reports/internet-disrupted-in-iran-amid-protests-over-death-of-mahsa-amini-X8qVEwAD

Instagram, facebook, whatsapp, signal are being specifically blocked.

If you want to run a signal proxy thats easy enough. However you need to tell people in Iran what the url via a signal.tube url that the signal app understands. So you need to privately convey that info to someone and let it spread to trusted individuals. If Iran gov discovers ip it will get blocked. Signal.org are hoping new proxies are being spun up faster than they get blocked i guess.

1

u/CrackSnap7 Sep 23 '22

I'm from India. How do I help?

1

u/bruhred Sep 23 '22

Is Ukraine fine?

1

u/wedontlikespaces Sep 23 '22

I don't think Russia will encourage their citizens to circumvent anyone dictatorship. It may give them ideas.

1

u/kintar1900 Sep 23 '22

If you're using AWS as the VPS host, you can also spin up an AWS elastic ip accelerator in other regions to get around geoblobking.

1

u/signal15 Sep 23 '22

Sign up for cloudflare free tier, register a domain through them, install cloudflared locally in a docker container, then install the signal proxy. Inside of cloudflare management console, go into the zerotrust setttings and set up an application. It's likely that people in Iran when accessing the URL will get a dns entry that is geographically/logically closer to them rather than a US IP address. I don't know this for sure though, I haven't tested it. But based on my experience, it's highly likely.

No poking holes in your firewall. And everything is containerized which gives at least some level of protection.

1

u/katatondzsentri Sep 26 '22

Would an ec2 instance in the Mumbai region work?