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CENSORSHIP NO MORE

How VPN's Restore Internet Freedom

Freedom. Openness. Security. These are just a few of the ideals that the internet was meant to embrace when it first took the world by storm. But, for every good thing, there are those who want to take it away from the people who would benefit. In many cases, those powers, be they governments, religions, businesses, and more, prevent others from accessing the full breadth of the internet through the use of censorship.

Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, censorship is “a regulatory system for vetting, editing, and prohibiting particular forms of public expression, presided over by a censor.” This type of oppression is carried out in many different ways, for many different reasons, such as these:

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Political / Governmental

Different countries around the world use censorship in a variety of ways. Countries like Canada, for example, restrict the times when certain content (such as TV shows with sexual themes) can be aired on television or streamed online. In other areas of the world, such as China and North Korea, governmental regimes strictly limit citizen access to the web in order to control the information their citizens can see, particularly as it pertains to outside countries and cultures, or if content is unflattering to the governing body.

Wartime Censorship

During periods of war, it wasn’t uncommon to receive a letter or other missive from a loved one only to find much of the content blacked out by a censor who deemed that, for national security purposes, the information was too sensitive to be shared with others. Even in modern times, many governments around the world monitor electronic communications which may be subject to censorship.

Religion

Not all religions take part in the practice of censorship, but the activity ​has been long used throughout history. Religious groups would limit the freedoms of their followers by decreeing that the religious authorities deemed it immoral and against the code of that particular religion. In some places today, fear of a divine entity leads to auto-censorship of actions and behaviors (for example, certain books and movies should be avoided based on specific beliefs).

Educational Censorship

Educational censorship occurs in a variety of ways. First, the content of certain books and subjects taught in schools is often up for debate and may be censored by various provinces, states, or school boards. For example, questions about what students should be taught about sex education, whether they should be allowed to read books with racial slurs, or if they should learn about certain scientific topics is frequently up for debate. Second, as schools introduced public wifi to their facilities, many school boards had to create a list of which websites should be censored in an educational environment. Social media platforms, online games, and adult-themed websites are some of the most frequently censored sites.

Corporate Censorship

Just like schools censor “distracting” websites from being accessible by students, many businesses also block certain websites in their offices to prevent employees from engaging in non-work-related activities. In addition, some businesses, which earn revenue from specific regions, block people in other regions from accessing their content. For example, companies like Netflix create regional versions of their product and work to prevent people from outside of those regions from being able to access content. In areas where net neutrality laws don’t apply, companies can also pay internet service providers to slow down a user’s access to competitor’s sites.

How to Bypass Censorship

Although many tools exist to perpetuate censorship online, there are just as many designed specifically to bring freedom and openness back to the web. A virtual private network, like HotBot VPN, is one of the fastest, easiest, and most reliable ways to put the wealth of world knowledge into your hands wherever in the world you may be. HotBot VPN combines three steps to bypass censorship:

STEP

01

Our platform gives users the opportunity to mask their IP address with one of our own. You can choose that IP address from a list of locations and servers around the globe, which allows for access to content in any and all countries. By masking user IP addresses, local internet service providers also cannot trace browsing data back to its source, thus protecting you from reaching the radars of the agencies who restrict access of information.

STEP

02

HotBot VPN establishes an encrypted tunnel between your device and the website you are accessing. This prevents all prying eyes from seeing the activity being conducted during your session. In addition to bypassing censorship, this step also keeps your account and financial information safe from others.

STEP

03

In addition to anonymizing and protecting your information, HotBot VPN also has the ability to detect and bypass URL filtering and IP address blocking protocols. It’s this ability that allows our service to unlock all locations on the web, to help you get around any censorship that impedes you in your pursuit of free and open online access.

However, although we are striving to create the perfect solution to censorship, no “magic bullet” has yet been developed to address the issue. In some cases, a VPN may not be available to all people around the world (for example, in China, many VPN websites are blocked which prevents them from being downloaded). If a VPN isn’t the right tool for you, try out some of these solutions instead:

  • ​​​Change Your Domain Name System (DNS):​ In some countries, authorities are able to control the domain name servers which host the registry of all web domains. If that authority deems that a domain contains illicit materials, they can eliminate its registration which then makes the site invisible to browsers. In some cases, a person may be able to unblock those sites by telling their device to use a different, uncompromised DNS server.

  • ​​​Use Tor: Tor is a volunteer-run global network that helps users browse the web anonymously by routing your connection through their platform. It allows users to bypass censorship because the website being accessed will see the IP address of the last Tor server that was pinged, rather than the IP address of your device. However, Tor is often slow to respond and the access point itself may be censored. To learn how to use our VPN with Tor, click here

  • ​​​Try a Proxy:​ While a VPN is more reliable for repeated censorship bypasses, proxies can help you quickly access a blocked website without having to install a program or app, or changing the settings on your device.

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