How you can help to circumvent internet censorship

Tor Snowflake

You can easily help to circumvent internet censorship.

If you want to help users bypass internet censorship in their country, you can easily do it without being a tech pro. If you can install something on your Mac, that’s enough.

Users in Iran or Russia, for example, who are to be denied access to free information by the state, usually use the Tor browser to use the Tor network. The idea is as follows: you connect to a Tor input server, are forwarded to another computer and then access the actual Internet via a third output server. So your own Internet address is not known, only that of the outgoing server is known to the Internet. So you are anonymous with regard to the IP.

In states that resort to state censorship, however, this approach has a major problem: at some point, the addresses of the Tor input servers are known and they can be blocked. And thus also the entire access to the Tor network and you can no longer get free information.

Snowflake helped user

This is where you come into play: The idea of ​​Tor Snowflakes is to make your own IP address in a country that does not censor available to users in a censorship state. The connection to the Tor network does not take place via an input server but via your Internet address, which then forwards it to the known input server. So the idea is to create an extremely large number of unknown addresses for the way to the Tor network instead of the limited number of known Tor dial-in servers – the more that participate, the better. After all, the respective state cannot block everyone.

Snowflake connected user

It’s really easy to take part: For Chrome and for Firefox there are browser plugins. Install it and turn it on. Done. With Chrome there is also the possibility to keep the service running even if the browser is closed. This is also useful for computers that run through the whole day, for example. If you want to do a Docker installation, that’s fine too possible.

We’ve noticed that around 24 people dial into the Tor network via our IP every day. The resulting traffic is a few hundred megabytes. The bandwidth is not particularly stressed. All traffic is encrypted and you have nothing to worry about legally, because you only provide the way into the Tor network, but not out. Every user who is in a country that censors the internet will be very grateful to you for the small installation on your computer.

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