Lantern 1.5.17 screenshot
|Original author(s)||Adam Fisk|
5.5.1 / July 30, 2019
|Operating system||Linux, OS X, Windows, Android|
|Type||Internet censorship circumvention|
|License||Apache License 2.0|
Lantern is a free and open-source peer-to-peer internet censorship circumvention tool, used for casual web browsing. It provides a way to bypass state-sanctioned filtration through a network of trusted users, but it's not an anonymity tool like Tor. Using Lantern, users in countries having free internet access can share their bandwidth with those who are in countries where the network is partly blocked. Network connections will be dispersed between multiple computers running Lantern so it will not put undue stress on a single connection or computer.
In early December 2013 Lantern had a surge of Chinese users and could reach from 200 users to 10,000 users in just two weeks. Soon after that, the network was almost blocked by the Chinese government.
The software is financed by US$2.2 million (HK$17.1 million) seed funding by the US State Department.
In early versions, Lantern's framework required the use of Google Talk for users to invite other trusted users from their Google Talk contacts. It's financed through US Department of State seed funding. These have raised some concerns about privacy of users, though Fisk has said the State Department is "incredibly hands off" and never dictates how they should write Lantern, or how they should talk about it.
The 2.0 version was released in 2015. Users are not required to connect by invite.
At the beginning of 2019, it was reported that the Guangdong police had imposed penalties on the basis of the "Interim Provisions on the Administration of the International Network of Computer Information Network of the People's Republic of China" for a Lantern user to "create and use illegal channels for international networking." The fine is a thousand Yuan. The document of the punishment was publicized on the “Guangdong Public Security Law Enforcement Information Disclosure Platform”.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lantern (software).|
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