Internet censorship includes blocking websites or restricting access to them, online surveillance, and arrests or prosecution of users and repressive laws governing the Internet.
The main difference between Internet censorship and press censorship is that the Internet has no national borders: residents of the country in which this or that information is prohibited can find it on the web-sites located on servers in other countries. It is very difficult to censor the entire Internet, but the authorities in different countries tend to do so.
According to the Internet censorship rating, Belarus is just a few ranks behind China, Iran, Cuba, Vietnam, Syria and Russia.
The World Day Against Cyber Censorship, which is celebrated annually on March 12, is meant to promote joint efforts in order to achieve the Internet that would be free from restrictions and accessible to all.
In order to bypass Internet censorship users access restricted resources through other unrestricted resources. These resources are web proxies, anonymous networks, special web services. The simplest and most effective means are Psiphon and Tor.
Psiphon is a circumvention tool from Psiphon Inc. that utilizes VPN, SSH and HTTP Proxy technology to provide you with uncensored access to Internet content. Your Psiphon client will automatically learn about new access points to maximize your chances of bypassing censorship.
Psiphon is designed to provide you with open access to online content. Psiphon does not increase your online privacy, and should not be considered or used as an online security tool. Besides, Psiphon protects users from hacking accounts and stealing passwords through unreliable wifi networks.
Psiphon can be installed on your computer (Windows), or on your smartphone (Android).
Download the application from the website psiphon.ca and run it. Psiphon will automatically connect to the server when starting. You can choose one of the following tunnelling modes: VPN (L2TP/IPSec), SSH, or SSH+ (SSH obfuscated to avoid protocol identification).
In the VPN mode, all the traffic is routed through Psiphon. In the SSH and SSH+ modes, Psiphon automatically sets up system proxy settings in Windows and the traffic of applications that use these settings is routed through Psiphon. These settings are default settings for all the popular web-browsers.
Tor is a system of proxy servers, which allows establishing an anonymous eavesdropping-protected network connection. Tor allows users to remain anonymous on the Internet when viewing websites, posting publications, sending messages and when working with other applications using the TCP protocol.
Traffic anonymization is provided through the use of a distributed network of servers (“nodes”), called multi-layer (“onion”) routers. Tor technology also provides protection against traffic analysis mechanisms that not only threaten the online anonymity of the user, but also the confidentiality of trade secrets and business contacts.
There are Tor versions and solutions for nearly all the most popular operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Android and iOS.
Download Tor-browser bundle from the website torproject.org. The bundle contains a browser, which is set up in advance to secure a Tor-protected Internet connection.
After downloading the installer, run it and select folder to unpack the archive. Then run the file «Start Tor Browser». The browser will connect you to the Tor network. You can now browse the Internet and use Tor hidden services.