There is a resurgence of draconian State
blocking/slowdowns of Internet in Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere, with Iraq at the time of writing passing the 104th hour of blackout due to ongoing protests
against government corruption, Egypt having over
500 news/rights/etc websites known
blocked and Turkey e.g. habitually ordering hundreds of State-takedowns monthly with
major knowledge and
culture treasures of
humankind such as
Wikipedia being completely
banned for almost
900 days now.
These free of cost options have been verified with people IN current State censorship/blocking as working recently:
- ProtonVPN has a free of cost mode that should be more than enough for any average user and is motivated by anti-censorship. Works on
- RiseupVPN, the newish
Bitmask-based VPNwhich was previously named Riseup Black.
- Calyx VPN is similar to RiseupVPN, with same technologies but
different addresses, so may be useful if Riseup has already been blocked.
- Tor Browser Also other
Tor-basedsolutions like Tails and Whonix of course, but Tor Browser is a good cross-platform start. Tor is however a
bit slowand triggers so many CAPTCHAs that use may even become practically impossible.
- WARP the
CloudFlare. May be difficult for dictatorships to block, as CloudFlare is (unfortunately) a core component of extremely many major
commercial/governmentweb-based services nowadays.
For local messaging when/if Internet Service Providers (ISPs) shut down networking completely:
- Briar has been shown to work.
- FireChat claims to fill a similar function, but I have not had it verified as working there, now.
Instant-messaging tools with high level of general trust, but which require centralized infrastructure to work:
- Signal Works on most computers and phones, but uses mobile phone numbers as user identifiers, which are
easily traceableby any State and relies on
centralized serversfor message delivery.
- Wire Like above, based on same protocol, but uses e-mail addresses as user identifiers and therefore is much more
difficultto trace, as
temporary/dedicated e-mailaccounts can be used. Open source.
- Wickr Similar to above. Very
- Silence Completely
SMS-based encryption, as Signal was, developed from Signal’s old source code. Useful when there is no mobile data-traffic, but only SMS. Open source.
Other Internet-blocking/slowdown circumvention tools that I haven’t verified to be working right now, but may be good to keep in mind if the previous stop working (Not an endorsement. Make sure to check anonymization, logging, State-collaboration, etc as needed before use):
- Mada19 Outline in
- The “cryptofree” or “cryptofree WireGuard” by the generally well regarded cryptostorm.
State combines the
blockings/slowdowns with arbitrary
physical searches of people in the
streets and in
homes, wherein finding one of the above mentioned tools leads to arrest, it is probably a good idea to hide their presence.
For Android, the two first methods here for example may work well.
Documents, videos, software installers, etc can be hidden in
encrypted container-files and then placing those files in some obscure place that would not likely be inspected during a regular search, such as in a different program’s data-directories and similar.
Encrypted container-files can be created and opened using VeraCrypt (almost all desktop/laptop computers) or EDS (Android).
Using well known functions like
“Samsung Secure Folder” or similar from other major manufacturers is probably NOT a good idea, as they are well known enough to have had passwords demanded during arbitrary searches.
As a probably last resort, there is an analog modem number still up in Sweden, which I have not verified myself due to lack of hardware, but a modem answers and using it did work last I heard.
Sweden modem phone number: +46708671911 (username “toto”, password “toto”)
Two more analog modem phone numbers that I have not verified at all if they still work are:
The Netherlands modem phone number: +31205350535 (username “xs4all”, password “xs4all”)
France modem phone number: +33172890150 (username “toto”, password “toto”)
Last, to state the obvious:
do NOT rely on
“lawful court orders” in the past leading to capture, torture and/or executions, at least in Syria therefore presumably also elsewhere and furthermore publicly admitted to being co-responsible for genocide and enabling imprisonment of people for being homosexual through silent automated
“interests” categorization being used as court evidence.
Better platforms to consider are for example
Riseup’s Crabgrass, Mastodon and PeerTube.