Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Well, at least it isn't blackjack
Will Jennifer Aniston please report to the marketing department—OK. You live in China and you want to research the political situation in Taiwan. You go to the computer, kick up the web browser, and get—nowhere. You've been blocked. The old 404 message. The government has censored the site (with the help of American companies who give lip service to personal freedom). Or, you are sitting in your office and have nothing much to do at the moment and decide to see if you can track down nude pictures of Jennifer Aniston. (You need a new job, by the way). You can't; your employer is filtering such non-business traffic. He even bought software off-the-shelf to let him do it, commercal co-conspirators. In other words, while the World Wide Web was designed specifically to free the intellect and the soul, government and private censorship has interposed.
Not to worry. Censoring the web is a lot harder than it looks. And to make it even harder, a number of folks have devised ways of slipping by the censors. Bless them. The best site may be Boing Boing's Guide to Defeating Censorware. Click here. Reporters Without Borders has technical suggestions. You can trick Google into doing forbidden things and some RSS readers can slip around filters as well, apparently. There's also software called Circumventor, which you can download for free on a server. There are lots of others ways of screwing the screwers, and a world of people who get just as steamed as you do willing to help. Happy to be of service.
I found that Jennifer Aniston picture are at.....what?....help!....I'm melting......