Thoughts on Handshake and Censorship Resistance


China’s Great Firewall has claimed her newest victims in what is being called “Censorship Black Friday”. The sites that are now inaccessible in China without a VPN include The Guardian, The Intercept, The Washington Post, and HuffPost to name a few. This new wave of blockings is in response to international media coverage of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre that originally took place on June 4th, 1989.

These actions reveal the painful truth that the internet in its current form is susceptible to many forms of censorship including DNS blocking by government-controlled ISPs. China is not the exception, with many authoritarian countries including Iran, North Korea, and Syria controlling what information can be accessed.

The questions I want to ask the community are

  • “How does Handshake impact state-sponsored censorship both at the technical level and the socio-political level?”

  • “How does Handshake impact Web2 walled gardens like Facebook and Twitter where content is censored?”

  • “How can Handshake create a more peaceful world through the liberation of the online name space ?”

I’ll leave you with a quote from Confucius to contemplate on the importance of playing the name game properly.

If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.

Confucius, Analects, Book XIII, Chapter 3, verses 4–7, translated by James Legge[21]