How to Bypass Internet Censorship

Book: How to Bypass Internet Censorship. FLOSS Manuals, 2009

An important new book from the FLOSS Manuals project, where it can also be downloaded for free.

Here’s the announcement:

“A new book released by FLOSS Manuals, How to Bypass Internet Censorship, describes circumvention tools and explains why you might want to use them, and honestly describes the risks you must consider before circumventing blockers or monitors. Blockers and monitors restrict access to areas of the Internet, and this book describes simple techniques for bypassing those restrictions. The book can be read or downloaded for free as a PDF from, or you can purchase a high-quality printed copy of the 200 page book through Lulu, an on-demand printer, at for €10.83 ($14.00).

The growth of the Internet has been paralleled by attempts to control how people use it, motivated by a desire to protect children, businesses, personal information, the capacity of networks, or moral interests, for example. Some of these concerns involve allowing people to control their own experience of the Internet (for instance, letting people use spam-filtering tools to prevent spam from being delivered to their own e-mail accounts), but others involve restricting how other people can use the Internet and what those other people can and can’t access. The latter case causes significant conflicts and disagreements when the people whose access is restricted don’t agree that the blocking is appropriate or in their interest. Problems also arise when blocking mechanisms and filters reduce access to useful business, health, educational, and other information.

Because of concerns about the effect of internet blocking mechanisms, and the implications of censorship, many individuals and groups are working hard to ensure that the Internet, and the information on it, are freely available to everyone who wants it. There is a vast amount of energy, from commercial, non-profit and volunteer groups, devoted to creating tools and techniques to bypass Internet censorship. Some techniques require no special software, just a knowledge of where to look for the same information. Programmers have developed a variety of more capable tools, which address different types of filtering and blocking. These tools, often called “circumvention tools” help Internet users access information that they might not otherwise be able to see. This book documents simple circumvention techniques such as a cached file or web proxy, and also describes more complex methods using Tor, which stands for The Onion Router, involving a sophisticated network of proxy servers.

How to Bypass Internet Censorship was written by eight writers in a FLOSS Manuals ‘book sprint’ – a week-long intensive writing session, and it also includes content from many different authors’ previous works on the subject.

How to Bypass Internet Censorship will always be available for free from the FLOSS Manuals Website. Each sale of the book generates $2.50 (USD). 100% of this income goes back into the development of more manuals about free software.”

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