The following blog post is authored by Information Controls Fellow Hoàng Nguyên Phong. As an ICFP fellow, Phong's research focused on analyzing different aspects of the I2P network, a privacy-enhancing Internet tool that can be used to access online content over an anonymity-enhancing network helpful in circumventing state-imposed censorship. Working with his host organization, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Phong studied the I2P network's censorship resilience, including identifying what blocking methods a state censor might use to inhibit access to I2P and investigating potential solutions to make I2P more resistant to such blockage.
Phong found blocking attempts on the I2P network (specifically via DNS poisoning, SNI-based blocking, TCP packet injection, and page-specific blocks) emanating from five countries: China, Oman, Qatar, Iran, and Kuwait. Phong posits that because the blocks are usually imposed on the I2P download page and reseed servers, such blocking could be mitigated by hosting download links to this content on large cloud service providers - raising the collateral cost of blocking. Phong also built a metrics portal for the platform so that researchers and others can better understand who is using I2P, finding that there are about 20,000 relays in the network on a daily basis.
(Excerpt taken from OTF blog post)
The research paper is also available here:
We thank Phong and his collaborators for their excellent study as we move to address the issues that were identified. It's exciting to see more academic study of I2P and are excited to keep working with him.