Operator makes usable tools to help people around the world with censorship, security, and privacy.
The Shapeshifter project provides network protocol shapeshifting technology (also sometimes referred to as obfuscation). The purpose of this technology is to change the characteristics of network traffic so that it is not identified and subsequently blocked by network filtering devices.
There are two components to Shapeshifter: transports and the dispatcher. Each transport provides a different approach to shapeshifting. These transports are provided as a Go library which can be integrated directly into applications. The dispatcher is a command line tool which provides a proxy that wraps the transport library. It has several different proxy modes and can proxy both TCP and UDP network traffic.
If you are an application developer working in the Go programming language, then you probably want to use the transports library directly in your application. If you are an end user that is trying to circumvent filtering on your network or you are a developer that wants to add pluggable transports to an existing tool that is not written in the Go programming language, then you probably want the dispatcher. Please note that familiarity with executing programs on the command line is necessary to use this tool. You can find Shapeshifter Dispatcher here: https://github.com/OperatorFoundation/shapeshifter-dispatcher
If you are looking for a complete, easy-to-use VPN that incorporates shapeshifting technology and has a graphical user interface, consider Moonbounce, an application for macOS which incorporates Shapeshifter without the need to write code or use the command line.
The transports implement the Pluggable Transports version 2.1 specification, which is available here: https://www.pluggabletransports.info/spec/#build Specifically, they implement the Go Transports API v2.1.
The purpose of the transport library is to provide a set of different transports. Each transport implements a different method of shapeshifting network traffic. The goal is for application traffic to be sent over the network in a shapeshifted form that bypasses network filtering, allowing the application to work on networks where it would otherwise be blocked or heavily throttled.
Replicant is Operator's Pluggable Transport that can be tuned for each adversary. It is designed to be more effective and efficient than older transports. It can be quickly reconfigured as filtering conditions change by updating just the configuration file.
There are two main advantages to using Replicant. First, it can be more effective than other transports. Simple transports such as shadowsocks work well against some adversaries, but other adversaries with more advanced filtering techniques can easily block them. In situations such as this, Replicant can work where other transports fail. Second, Replicant can be more efficient than other transports. Some transports that are very effective at circumventing the filter are also very inefficient, using a lot of bandwidth in order to implement their approach to shapeshifting. This can make it very expensive to run proxy servers using these transports. Replicant is designed to use the minimum amount of additional bandwidth in order to provide shapeshifting, and can therefore save on the cost of providing proxy servers. Less additional bandwidth used also means a faster connection and more reliable performance on slower Internet connections.
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