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O @ooa113y
, 30 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Actually, this is an interesting topic to talk about -- not just for YouTube, but for country-based #censorship in general. There are ways around it and it's good to know of them in the event your government, employer or ISP go insane. This is going to be long so brace yerself!
The nuclear option for getting around a censored connection is the @torproject ( It WILL work, but it may be slow, inconvenient, and overall a pain to use. It can be configured to connect through a specific country but that's not it's main purpose:
It is designed to help people anonymise themselves online and to get around censorship imposed by governments, employers and ISPs, rather than the web services themselves. So, for @tuyoki's use case above, this is a bad fit, but for many others it might work great.
You can even use Tor if the Tor website itself is blocked. Just shoot an e-mail with the name of your OS (windows, linux or osx) in the body to and they will immediately reply with a fresh mirror for the latest version of their browser.
Now, Tor is not for everyone. As I mentioned, it's painfully slow, inconvenient, and only works for web-browsing. What if you want to unblock Skype? Discord? Steam? Well tough luck, it won't work for that. I'm going to talk about the next-best option now, VPNs.
A VPN essentially routes the entirety of your internet traffic through someone else's server, effectively "moving" you to the location of the VPN server. Depending on the protocol, location and quality of the server it can be either blazing slow or very fast.
There are two ways to go about a VPN. The obvious one is to get the service from a VPN provider, such as Private Tunnel ( A paid service will always work better than a free one. If you HAVE to go with a free one, watch out and make sure they're reputable.
They could just be spying on you and stealing all your data otherwise. If a VPN provider is untrustworthy, your data is as good as naked, except for pre-encrypted connections such as HTTPS.
Pay great attention to the VPN protocol your provider uses. Never use anyone who tells you to connect over PPTP since it's ancient and incredibly insecure. OpenVPN is always a good choice, it's maintained, secure and works on just about every bloody device/OS in the world.
IPSec is alright though may be a bit convoluted to set up depending on what device you're connecting with. SSTP is great for bypassing very strict ISP-level censorship, but sadly isn't supported by any VPN providers I know of.
The second option when it comes to VPNs is to get a VERY close friend to run a VPN server for you. Someone you trust almost completely, and someone whose connection isn't censored as well. SoftEther ( works great for this.
Ask them to install it and enable SecureNAT, then make an account for you to connect with and you should be good to go. Of course, this will only work while their computer is online and the server is running.
Letting a friend do it means you don't have to trust someone you don't know personally with your data, which is a huge advantage. Of course, you can always set up SoftEther yourself on a computer you own: if that second computer's connection is not censored.
Another option are browser extensions designed for unblocking sites and simple web-based proxies. Neither are a good idea from a privacy/security standpoint, but if the only thing you want to do is unblock and view a website or two, they are the most convenient and fast option.
When using a proxy like this, make SURE the site you're connecting to supports HTTPS, if not, consider your privacy fucked. Web proxies are ridiculously easy to set up and maintain, so making one that's a honeypot for private data is not out of the realm of possibility.
Infact, if any such anti-censorship service would be designed specifically to gather users' private information, it would be a web proxy or a browser extension, since those are so easy to get people to use.
So watch out while using those, but do know they have their own use and aren't necessarily a "bad thing" in and of themselves, they just *can* be. VPN services also can be "bad" in a similar way, but it's just somewhat less likely.
I'm not going to recommend any web-proxy or extension here for the reasons outlined above. With any of those you use, the same thing applies: be VERY fucking careful about it. Again, sites that use HTTPS are fine. It's HTTP sites you have to worry about proxying.
I'd also like to call out @opera's fake "VPN" here and point out that it's just an encrypted proxy, and anything that works on the browser level will be. I really wish they changed the name so that it's called what it actually is.
A VPN will have you install software on your OS or configure the connection systemwide via the control panel. A good way to identify that a VPN is actually a VPN is to see if it created its own TAP/TUN network adapter, like this.
Anything that doesn't do that is not a VPN, and will not be as secure as one. Since a browser can't do that, any extension or website will never be a "VPN". Again: a VPN routes all your internet traffic, a proxy only routes web traffic, which is less safe and easier to identify.
And this is all I have to say on this topic. I wish a safe and pleasant browsing to you all!
Actually, just one final thing: for countries with mass-censorship policies, services may exist designed *specifically* for your country. The comrades in #Russia may appreciate АнтиЗапрет, and the folks from #Ukraine may want to look at Антізаборона, just to name a few examples.
I'm not familiar with any country-specific services for places like Iran or China, unfortunately, but they may exist and I simply have no idea about them. Hell, if you know about something of the sort, tell me, the knowledge is much appreciated!
OK, now the REALLY last thing that is important and I forgot about. Promise I'll shut up after this. You ARE breaking a service's ToS if you use a VPN/Tor/proxy to avoid geographical locations. You WILL, quite likely, get banned if you're found out.
Depending on how harhs your government or employer are when it comes to censorship, you may be in trouble if you are found out by them as well, although you probably don't have to worry as much when it comes to the govt: the policy everywhere seems to be to just block sites...
....rather than enforce the censorship with fines, prison, death penalties or anything of the sort, thankfully. Of course, you yourself know best how bad the place you live in is in this regard, so maybe don't risk it if you think it's unsafe.
Similarly, try not to log in to accounts in services with geo-restrictions, especially ones that have harsh policies in this regard such as Steam while browsing on a VPN/proxy or using Tor. You suddenly logging in from a different country is suspicious and could get you banned.
In other words, everything I've described here may or may not be legal or permissible depending on where you are and what you're trying to achieve with these tools, so use all of these tools and advice at your own risk.
Just found out about @threadreaderapp, so if anyone cares to read my long rants, gonna unroll them for your convenience.
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