Sometimes we don’t realise quite how lucky we all are living in democratic countries, where we can use technology to communicate and express ourselves within reason. However many nations don’t allow such unfettered access and heavily censor their countries internet feed. It’s certainly not safe to speak your mind online in places like Iran, China or Thailand. Say something criticial online about the leaders in these nations and you’ll be risking a very long jail term or worse.
In fact communicating about pretty much anything can get you into some trouble in these places. A blogger in Thailand recently received a 20 year jail term for criticising the Royal family there, unfortunately he died in custody waiting for his appeal to come through. In China you are constantly monitored and all web requests have to go through the Great Firewall of China. Don’t try looking for information on Tienneman Square for example as everything is blocked.
To bypass these sorts of blocks and to keep your self safe – many online activists use proxies and identity cloaking software. This allows you to circumvent some of the content filtering software that is used. There’s an example of the software that can do this in this post here – How to Use a BBC Iplayer Proxy. Or watch this video here –
Available on YouTube also
It works quite simply by hiding your real IP address by relaying through a secure proxy server and also encrypting your content to block content filters. In this example the software is being used to allow people to watch the BBC anywhere in the world but it is more seriously used by campaigners and activists online all over the world.