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secure tunnels

Some application software we have here (running on a Microsoft OS, even)
needs to open an SSL connection to a remote server. It supports tunneling
through proxy servers, but only proxy servers which require authentication.
Our ISP's proxy does not require authentication, and the software
can't handle it. (This is the most outrageous thing I've ever heard,
but that's the way it is.)

I want to set up some piece of software locally which will accept
the authenticated connection and pass this on to the ISP's proxy.
What software do I need to do this? I have no idea how these tunnels work.

(General discussion: our ISP blocks outbound connects on port 80 so
as to enforce proxy usage. All other ports are transparent. It would
seem that the software is trying to talk to a remote web server. However,
as far as I understand it, SSL http connections are usually done on
port 443, which isn't blocked by our ISP. Thoughts?)

Hamish Moffatt VK3SB (ex-VK3TYD). 
CCs of replies from mailing lists are welcome.

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