For many of us, the Internet stands for freedom. For the many behind restrictive firewalls and censorship, freedom is still out of reach. uProxy is an Open Source initiative from Google that is under development and promises to show the way through these barriers. The under-development browser extension for Firefox and Chrome uses a peer-to-peer connection to clear the way through any restrictions and set up an open gateway to the Internet. uProxy is in closed testing as the developers work to make it more secure and robust.
uProxy is not similar to TOR and it will not anonymize traffic. It is also not like BitTorrent and is not meant for peer to peer file exchanges. uProxy is like a “personalized VPN” that allows you to use your computer as a gateway for a trusted friend behind a restrictive firewall (e.g. in foreign regimes). The trusted party who is blocked from accessing particular websites can route the traffic through your computer and access the blocked websites. uProxy is set up on the browsers of both peers to enable this safe and reliable re-routing. Access to the trusted friend can be given by email or chat (you can use any chat network).
The security of uProxy is a crucial component and that it what the developers are probably testing further. When finally released, uProxy should be a handy option for users to protect each other from third parties who may try to watch, block, or redirect Internet connections. While travelling, you can also use uProxy to set up a secure connection with your own Internet connection at home.
Google is working to open source uProxy. Seeded by Google Ideas and developed by the University of Washington, it definitely isn’t the first tool of its kind. But could be one of the easiest to use once it is released.