When you think of censorship online most times you will think of sites that contain criminal or illegal material on them. Many well respected sites including YouTube and WordPress are actually being blocked around the world by an increasing number of countries. But why are they being blocked? As hard as it is to believe, it?s due to the fact that these types of sites promote and encourage the use of free speech among their users. This does not always go over well with some people seeing as no matter where you go you will always find someone with a contrasting outlook to your own.
These actions are not all that surprising. The people in charge of certain countries would quickly create a list of blocked websites for their country. While people living in these area?s most times are used to this form of censorship, it makes performing these action no less pathetic. I have experienced it first hand with family and friends that reside in Turkey. Even though Turkey is a wonderful place to live that has a great heritage and many proud traditions, the main ISP for the country has begun to create an ever growing list of blocked and banned websites.
Personally, I have no problems with a country that chooses to block illegal and blatantly dangerous sites. That said my personal preference is that they take the website down and proceed to charge the owner, but internationally this is not an easy thing to do. The fact is sites that have become banned in Turkey have become a growing concern among the people of this democratic, secular state.
The reasoning behind sites such as You Tube and WordPress is that some of them contain what can be considered ?dangerous? religious and anti-religious messages. A favorite author of mine, Oxford Biologist Richard Dawkins had his website banned due to comments he made about a book written by a famous Turkish writer about Creationism (The idea that man was created 6000 years ago and was not the product of evolution). No matter what your religious views are, banning sites such as these is a hard blow to the idea of Freedom of Speech. In essence it says ?If you don?t agree with our religious views, we will block you.? Several other faiths from around the world including Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and many different forms of Christianity will also be involved in future banns.
Personally, I strongly dislike the idea of censorship. Apprehending those individuals that spread malice and evil by any means, but the ideals behind freedom of speech is a treasured asset to many that is being slowly taken away from the people of Turkey. So what can you do to bypass these constraints and get access to blocked websites? This is most commonly achieved using a proxy server. The ISP has a list of bans that it filters and enforces blocking predetermined websites due to their content. Using a proxy server to see a banned website fools the ISP into believing the content is coming from the proxy server, not the server that is blocked.
It may be in a slightly different place from one web browser to another, but most times you will find the section you can put a proxy server into under the Internet Options --> Connections --> LAN Connections Area. When you have successfully placed a valid proxy in this section, any request to view a website will first go to the proxy server and then to the actual website you wanted to look at. The process is reversed on the return trip back to your computer.
Using this easy to do trick will work most times allowing you to see the website even with the ban in place. You do have to be cautious when using a free proxy server when doing this, paying attention to the information you are providing. ?Free Proxy Servers? you find listed on the internet are most times unsecured servers being used without the owners knowing and at times are even hacked servers used to collect your private data. Taking the risk of identity theft just to watch You Tube videos is not worth it. Even so, as the list of blocked websites in countries around the world like Turkey gets bigger, you?re going to find more people looking for ways to get access to banned sites.