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What is Obfuscation

December 19th 2017

If you have been around the Privacy Sector for a while you will often see a term called Obfuscation or Obfuscating, but what does it mean. Well the definition of Obfuscation is

a: to throw into shadow : darken
b: to make obscure

This is similar to what it does to your Internet Traffic. When you Obfuscate something you are trying to hide it’s true purpose much like putting on a disguise. Which is what you are doing to your Internet Traffic when you Obfuscate it.

So, what does it do exactly? Well it depends on your goal. The one thing that Obfuscation is used for the most is to hide VPN and TOR Traffic. The reason being is some ISP’s and Government’s block or toggle the connection to these services and it keeps anyone from knowing your Internet Traffic is encrypted. Another thing that it is used for is by passing firewalls to access restricted websites. While the result of these goals might look slightly different the both do the same thing to your Internet Traffic. When your Internet Traffic is Obfuscated it is changed from it’s original form into a discrete form. It makes it look like normal Internet Traffic. If you are using this with a VPN it changes your Encrypted Internet Traffic into normal Un-Encrypted Internet Traffic. Now before you ask no it doesn't make your Internet Traffic readable, you are still protected. It just takes it from an encrypted form and changes so that it looks like your encrypted traffic is no different from anyone else’s Internet Traffic. If you are trying to bypass a firewall to a specific site then you don’t have any need to change it from an encrypted form into an un-encrypted form. Instead you need to change it from looking like it’s going to a specific website to looking like it’s going to a different unrestricted website. Either way you are essentially disguising your Internet Traffic the product just looks a little different.

Will this be useful with the loss of Netnutrality? Well it depends on what happens with this. We still have to wait and see what the ISP’s decide to do with their new found power over our data. If they decide to start blocking VPN’s and TOR Traffic then yes very useful, but on the other hand if they start charging for using certain services then no not really. In case of the latter all you will be able to use it for is to make it look like your using a cheaper service than you really are. Such as if your a Gamer and your ISP Charges you $2.00/mb for gaming and only charges $1.00/mb for browsing. Then you could Obfuscate your Internet Traffic to look like your just Browsing the web. Other than that no, if anything if it’s not done right you could end up paying more money because you Obfuscated it.

Obfuscation is a much more advanced feature in the Privacy Sector and is manly used by the paranoid and the oppressed, but it is an important tool to have for those that need it. Remember your encrypted traffic stands out like a sore thumb and ISP’s are allowed to toggle your Internet Traffic.

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