AT&T has effectively banned Bitcoin nodes by closing port 8333 via a hidden firewall in the cable box

ISP’s hate it when you actually heavily use the service you pay for. SafeNet traffic will probably draw their attention.

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FFS why does a text file with 10 lines have to be copied as image and posted on imgur?

The news is BS. You can run it on Tor and effectively un-ban it.


I am hoping to not run safenet over Tor, so happy the ports are random. But that doesn’t mean that many ISP’s won’t make other attempts at slowing traffic down to problem accounts that are using more than average.

SAFE isn’t bound to a specific port, and it can use either uTP/TCP. A block like this isn’t possible for SAFE. My guess is that they’re going to be more specific in contracts about average bandwidth usage and such, when massive SAFE traffic becomes an issue for them. Which is a perfectly valid free market response.


That is the correct response. Whether they actually do it, I don’t know.

If your competitor has a schedule of fees, it is tempting to advertise “all you can eat, one low price” to compete with him. Of course, advertising “all you can eat” to get the sale, and actually delivering it are two different things, which is why we’re where we are now.


Yes, and “egress” fees will be implicitly considered by those who provide paid or free services from their homes.

The nature of service (Bitcoin, SAFE, FTP with Linux ISOs) doesn’t matter to the telcos.

AT&T U-verse offers customers an enriched TV experience. U-verse TV has 6 million customers across 21 states.

The important question is, how many Bitcoin nodes are run via AT&T services? I’d imagine not too many, considering the large mining warehouses and pools stationed overseas.

The next question is where is that pressure coming from? Is it a government initiative to try and repress Bitcoin mining usage through pressuring other ISPs beyond AT&T?

Maybe the blockchain has its uses for investment vehicles on Wall Street, but mining nodes could be a completely different story with various market forces acting against them. ISPs probably don’t care about the mining / blockchain yin and yang relationship. If not the government, we now know at least one major player out for node-blood.

[We will probably not know the answer to this last question for years.]

How much traffic does Bitcoin nodes us on port 8333?

Downloading the blockchain?


scanning a remotely stored blockchain?

Is the ban because its bitcoin, or is it because of the traffic?

Solution - use a good VPN - speeds almost as good and no more port ban. The VPN I use can even port forward if thats required.

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I posted this subject, not because I care about bitcoin, but because I care about safenet. Again, I get that safenet has better tools for avoiding interference then bitcoin does. But at the end of the day, there will be no hiding that you are loading the ISP with more traffic than your neighbors do, and the ISP may take steps to curtail that behavior. In this case, the steps they took was port blocking. In safenet’s case, it may be throttling.

In any case, I think VPN’s are not a solution for normal users if you want mass adoption.

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I am interested in the answers to the other questions because it would help to know the reasons for the blocking.

Some ISPs in Australia has attempted to slow (not block) traffic on certain ports. eg bittorrent, NNTP. People simply use other ports. But the reason is volume of traffic that travels through these ports.

Some ISPs in Australia…

Do I remember right that teaching encryption in this down under country is now technically illegal?

Never heard that anywhere, check Whirlpool some one would have made a topic on that for sure

I Googled, partly to make sure I’m not losing my mind, and found a lifehacker article, which says teaching and possibly learning about strong encryption in Australia will be illegal, beginning next year.


The Australian Defence Trade Controls Act (DTCA) regulates the DSGL and enacts a censorship regime with severe criminal penalties. The DTCA prohibits the “supply” of DSGL technology to anyone outside Australia without a permit. The “supply” need not involve money, and can consist of merely providing access to technology.

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Note the word supply and where “outside Australia” The theory is teaching courses which foreign students can attend technically comes under that supply to outside Australia. It seems that this is the basic premise for the article.

There is some other interesting issues though

There are exceptions

It is going to be one of those laws that have overreach, but are not enforceable unless demonstrated national security is threatened. AU courts have shown their reluctance to rule in favour of such overreach.

I suggest you make a topic in Whirlpool and get wider attention to it. I am sure a lot in the data retention debate would be interested to.

You don’t need to run safenet over tor. That’s completely inefficient. Safenet is anonymous.

Tor sucks overall.

Yes, and yes it can be, depending on the strength of the encryption and other specifics. I attended a panel discussion at Melbourne University earlier this year featuring academics, people from defence consulting and a couple of Government reps. The very strong view put by the panel members (with the exception of the Government people) was that this is a draconian and fundamentally stupid set of regulations that are going to seriously help to undermine Australian education and industry, not to mention closing down just one more avenue of free speech. Rollin’ back democracy, right here, down-under.


Many kinds of restrictions can be overriden with technical means. However the government still has got one bullet more: The Great Firewall Of China analises data packets based on statistical characteristics and as far as I understand if the government wants to strifle TOR, I2P or MadeSafe they have a technical means to do so.

The only remedy which I can think of is to expand the network fast so that closing down a useful service would cause a sufficiently vocal disappointment from the people that the government efforts at cernsorship are halted.

Ultimately they must to run out of freaking resources and lose out.

There are more and more subversive projects, it’s going to be impossible to monitor and block all of them.

I actually had a very cunning plan on how to subvert government efforts to strifle free speach on the net. The problem is a huge publicity campaign would be requiered and lots of supporters would need to be recruited.

The idea is that yes they can compute statistical characteristics of pretty much any protocol and cut off those types of communication they do not like. In those circumstances in my view the best we can hope for is a fully secretive communication network. We’d need to transmit messages that would look like the types of messages they do allow through - for instance people downloading pictures of cats from the net. But these messages would need to have hidden payload - via stenography. Of course I don’t hope that real-time communication can be achieved but something at the level of news-groups could probably work - you send a message today and receive a response tomorrow.

However there is a problem still - stenography is detectable - there is not enough randomness in a jpeg file (or so I think - I could be wrong). So my idea was to create this randomness in advance - before the government puts down foot to pedal on policing. The idea is that participating people would inject a little bit of randomness into the jpeg picitures they upload to the net. For instance a Firefox plugin could do it automatically. Or an Apache HTTPD module could do it before serving the image. So each image uploaded by participants would have a bit of random noise in it. It will grown in size, and quality will suffer - but just a little. At the same time the tools created for detecting stenography would say “yes, there is something hidden here”. The thing is it will be a false positive! People won’t actually embed any messages there at this stage, just random noise. The idea is to flood the net with sufficient amount of such .jpg pictures. Say drive their share among all pictures online to 15%.

So when some individuals desiring to subvert government ban on cryptography start injecting secret messages into their jpg-s government won’t be able to tell the difference between the earlier generated harmless pictures from those carrying a secret payload. And banning all suspicious jpg-s would cause too much outlash since that would mean banning 15% of the internet.

Moreover any of the jpg-s created during the earlier campaign can serve as your encryption key - since it contains some random noise.

To promote the campaign the Firefox plugin and the HTTPD module could be made not just to inject random invisible noise but also to add a small logo with campaign slogan at the bottom - smth like “enthropy for freedom” and maybe a URL to the campaign website. As the next step another Firefox plugin could detect which of the pictures present on a webpage do contain this random noise and which don’t. The idea is that when participants see that somebody is not yet injecting noise they would contact him and ask to join the ranks putting up peer pressure.

Of course it would take a huge amount of PR to promote this. And yes it’s based on the pessimistic prediction that governments will ban cryptograhpy that they can not subvert and will cut all kinds of traffic they don’t understand - leaveing us just just with HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP and streaming video.

P.S. But then after all this effort the government can still start running our .jpg-s through a smoothing filter. The image would remain the same but our precious secret payload will be destroyed. Damn! They still have one more bullet!

That’s certainly an elaborate scheme.

It would be like Proof-Of-Unwork and require a lot of resources, etc.
A version of that is HTTPS Everywhere, a similar idea to encrypt everything (including cat pic downloads) - that’s simpler to execute but even that is too much for the majority of the sheeple.
One I know refuses to have Adblock installed just because it’s some “weird add on created by hackers”.

So it we return where we started - we need to create distributed/decentralized apps where everything is encrypted (and SAFE is one such effort). Once data moves p2p and is encrypted, it will be very difficult to analyze it by co locating servers in several high bandwidth data centers.