WWW FAQs: How can I blog safely in a country with censorship?


2011-02-13: "I live in a country where the government censors everything. Creating a blog and writing my opinion of the regime and its practices, and even writing about human rights issues could lead me to prison or death. It could also create a lot of trouble for my family and friends. I want to create a blog, but I don't the government to be able to track the route to me, or to be able to have any information about me. Is that possible?"

First: you have my admiration for considering such a step in a place where it is personally dangerous to you to express your views.

Second: please be as careful as you can and consider the risks you are taking for yourself and for others.

Third: there are steps you can take to be safer. NOT safe, but safer:

  • Post under an identity you do not EVER use from your Internet connection at home (if you have one)
  • Post from a variety of places to be harder to track
  • If at all possible use a secure connection (https) to Facebook, gmail, etc. Select this option wherever it is available
  • Organize. Do not simply put yourself at risk all alone. Cooperate with larger groups of activists. There may or may not be safety in numbers, but you will be more effective
  • You will inevitably leave some tracks on the Internet, but leave no tracks on your own computer. Use anonymous private surfing features built into your web browser
  • If you are able to use anonymous web surfing tools, such as anonymizer.com or the-cloak.com, do so. They may be blocked in your country, or simply accessing them may be considered an offense
  • If you absolutely must break the law, break it only by doing things that would be legal in a free country. Do not break universal laws to make a point about immoral laws. Practice nonviolent civil disobedience.
There comes a time in the lives of many when they feel they must take a serious risk for the sake of their freedom and that of others. Think carefully before deciding that this is that time in your life.

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