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14 November 2012, 16:26

Scotty beams data past firewalls and filters

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Two developers from Germany have releasedGerman language link Scotty, a lightweight open source web proxy that allows users to bypass content filtering by establishing a secure connection to the internet. The application is named after the fictional engineer from Star Trek because, according to the developers, it "beams data to your computer, no matter where you are".

Written in Java, the cross-platform application has a client and a server component. The client is installed on a computer where the secure connection to the internet is needed (behind a firewall or in a country where access to the global network is restricted) and acts as a proxy for HTTP connections. Users then simply configure their browsers by entering "localhost" into the proxy settings to use the client.

To connect securely through a firewall or bypass filtering, the user also needs to set up the server counterpart for the Scotty client. This can be run on a desktop computer in another location, a NAS, a hosted server or even on Google AppEngine. Free AppEngine accounts provide 1GB of traffic free-of-charge and, the developers say, work well for running Scotty.

Zoom scotty provides point-to-point encryption between the two parts of the application

Communication between the client and server version of Scotty is secured with AES encryption which avoids filtering and eavesdropping on the traffic. In this way, Scotty works similarly to an SSH tunnel but it only uses HTTP which enables it to circumvent firewalls that only allow users to use port 80.

The source code for Scotty is licensed under the GPLv3 and is available from GitHub. The project's web site provides .jar files for the gateway and client, as well as a special gateway version to run on Google AppEngine.


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