Freedom of Expression

Dodging the internet censors

Should you find your comments on websites being blocked or pre-moderated because they know who you are (see recent comments on David T’s post) there are ways to dodge the internet censors, based on disguising your identity. Below are a few rough pointers, any additional technical guidance gratefully received.

1. Delete cookies. These tell a website who you are when you log on.

2. Anonymise, either through TOR, or commercial services such as Anonymizer. TOR stands for The Onion Router. It is a free proxy server service that routes through a series of relays around the world while you browse the web, meaning that nobody knows who you are or where you are logging from. TOR is easily configured with Firefox, which also offer a TOR button for secure and non-secure browsing. Anonymizer offers a similar service, together with anonymous email etc.

3. Guerillamail is a free service that provides instant, disposable email addresses that can receive and send mail, and last for fifteen minutes, extendable to several hours. Guerilla mail does not ask for any personal information. It could be used, for example, to receive an email with a link from a site requiring registration.

4. Bugmenot provides free user names and passwords for websites that require registration, mainly US-based ones. However the site administrators also know about bugmenot, so it doesn’t always work.

5. More info on anonymous commenting, blogging, email etc available from the fine people at the Electronic Freedom Foundation, Global Voices Online and Reporters Sans Frontieres