The censoring of information online is one of the greatest dangers to free speech on the Internet today, as many countries filter a wide variety of information of social and political significance, sometimes under the guise of ‘national security’. As Governments are allocating a lot of resources and implementing sophisticated methods for censoring the contents, it has became harder for acquiring information from those countries these days.
But activists and free expression advocates haven’t been sitting back and sipping coffee. As the practice of Internet filtering spreads throughout the world, so does access to the “circumvention tools”. Circumvention tools are the software written by security expert, activists, programmers and volunteers that allows users to bypass Internet filtering to access content otherwise blocked by governments, workplaces, schools, etc. by relying on an encrypted connection from the user’s computer to a trusted server located outside the blocked network. Many of those trusted servers are conveniently located in countries that do not filter the Internet.
The following are circumvention tools which works on Windows, Mac, android and iOS.
Virtual Private network(VPN) : A virtual private network extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network.
Psiphon ( iOS, Android, Mac & Windows): Psiphon is a circumvention tool that utilizes VPN, SSH and HTTP Proxy technology to provide you with uncensored access to Internet content. Psiphon will automatically learn about new access points to maximize your chances of bypassing censorship.
Tunnel Bear ( iOS, Android, Mac & Windows ): TunnelBear (also known as the TunnelBear VPN) is a public virtual private network (VPN) service based in Toronto, Canada. Like other public VPN services, TunnelBear has the ability to bypass content blocking in most countries. TunnelBear allows the user to appear in one of 22 different countries (including Ireland, the United States of America, Sweden, and Italy).
Tor Browser for Mac & Windows : Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. It is then routed through a series of volunteer-operated servers called nodes or relays.
Lantern ( Android & iOS) : Lantern is a software application for desktop and mobile that gives access to blocked websites and apps. It uses a variety of techniques to stay unblocked in censored regions around the world, falling back to other approaches if some of those techniques are blocked.