Hygiene
in The Digital Public Square

You’re less incognito than you think.

Malicious apps, theft, spam, cyber stalking, censorship, surveillance.
There are no foolproof answers to risk online.
But there is advice to help.

Begin
I want to learn about circumventing Internet censorship

I want to learn about circumventing Internet censorship

There are numerous ways to block a website. Luckily there are also many ways to get around these blocks. For a quick primer, look at the How to Circumvent Online Censorship guide by the EFF or the more detailed Floss manual on bypassing censorship, or a practical multilingual guide on how to remain anonymous and bypass censorship on the Internet from the Security in-a-box project.

The solution lies in connecting to the desired website via an intermediary server – and hiding this action from the censor. There are a number of tools and services to achieve this:

  • Circumvention tools – purpose-built software to go around local Internet restrictions. Psiphon, Lantern and uProxy are some such tools.
  • VPNs – a Virtual Private Network allows you to connect to the Internet via an encrypted tunnel to the VPN provider. Your ISP can only see your connection to the VPN service, and to the website you are visiting your origin appears as coming directly from the VPN servers. The RiseUp VPN service is a popular choice among activists and functions from all computers and Android smartphones. Surfeasy is one of the many commercial VPN services offering free accounts as well.
  • The Tor Browser is another popular method for bypassing website censorship by using an anonymity network.
  • A growing number of countries practicing Internet censorship are beginnning to discover and block access to these intermediaries as well. If neither method works (as you live in a country that blocks public circumvention methods) then you may need to ask a friend living in another country to set up a proxy server, a Tor Bridge or a VPN just for you. The latter (setting up a VPN server) is a little trickier and will require some technical competency with Linux systems (and possibly home routers).


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