Lantern (software)

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Lantern logo.svg
Lantern 1.5.17 screenshot
Lantern 1.5.17 screenshot
Original author(s) Adam Fisk[1]
Stable release
4.4.1 / December 9, 2017; 8 months ago (2017-12-09)
Written in Go
Operating system Linux, OS X, Windows, Android
Size 5 MB
Type Internet censorship circumvention
License Apache License 2.0[2]

Lantern is a free and open-source peer-to-peer internet censorship circumvention tool, used for casual web browsing.[3] It provides a way to bypass state-sanctioned filtration through a network of trusted users, but it's not an anonymity tool like Tor.[1] 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.[4] Network connections will be dispersed between multiple computers running Lantern so it will not put undue stress on a single connection or computer.[5]

Lantern's CEO and lead developer is Adam Fisk, a former lead engineer of LimeWire and LittleShoot.[6]

In early versions, Lantern's framework requires the use of Google Talk for users to invite other trusted users from their Google Talk contacts.[5] It's financed through US Department of State seed funding. These have raised some concerns about privacy of users.[1] 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.[5]

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.[7] Soon after that, the network was almost blocked by Chinese government.[8]

The 2.0 version was released in 2015, users not required to connect by invite.

The software is financed by US$2.2 million (HK$17.1 million) seed funding by the US State Department.[9]

Lantern is partially hosted on DigitalOcean's infrastructure, which was briefly reported as blocked in Iran during the civil unrest on January 2, 2018.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Guthrie Weissman, Cale (October 22, 2013). "Here's an anti-Internet censorship program for activists by activists". Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "LICENSE". GitHub. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Fifield D, Lan C, Hynes R, Wegmann P, Paxson V (2015-05-15). "Blocking-resistant communication through domain fronting". Proceedings on Privacy Enhancing Technologies 2015. doi:10.1515/popets-2015-0009. 
  4. ^ "Anti-firewall tool Lantern infiltrated by Chinese censors". South China Morning Post. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c McKenzie, Jessica (October 22, 2013). "Could State Department Funded Lantern Be Bigger, Better Tor?". Archived from the original on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "NEXT GENERATION ANTI-CENSORSHIP TOOLS - PANELIST BIOS". techATstate. March 6, 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lantern Program Allows Chinese to Dodge Firewall - China Digital Times (CDT)". China Digital Times. China Digital Times. December 5, 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "China blocks censorship circumvention software Lantern after a surge of Chinese users". TECH IN ASIA. December 11, 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "US-funded Lantern program allows Chinese to dodge Great Firewall and view banned websites". South China Morning Post. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "January 3, 2018 Episode Transcript". The Current. CBC. Retrieved 4 January 2018. 

External links[edit]

Official website Edit this at Wikidata