#CollateralFreedom: RSF Unblocks Nine Censored News Sites

Posted March 12th, 2015 at 12:33 pm (UTC+0)
1 comment

An internet cable is seen at a server room in this picture illustration taken in Warsaw January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

An internet cable is seen at a server room in this picture illustration taken in Warsaw January 24, 2012. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

In an effort to counter online censorship in 11 countries it labels “Enemies of the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders is unblocking access to nine news websites that have been blocked in their respective countries..

It has done so by mirroring blocked sites – that is, duplicating the censored sites and uploading their contents on internet servers such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.  Since those sites provide information and services vital to companies and most individuals, blocking access would be costly politically and economically the group said.

“Reporters Without Borders is renting bandwidth for this operation that will gradually be used up as more and more people visit the mirror sites,” the group says on its website.  “We are therefore asking Internet users to help pay for additional bandwidth so that the mirror sites will be available for as long as possible.

“Operation Collateral Freedom” was conceived by GreatFire, an NGO operated by Chinese activists that has already created unblockable mirror sites of Deutsche Welle, Google and China Digital Times. For more great tools and technology to fight censorship, visit GreatFire’s website, or VOA’s own circumvention handbook.

These are the nine sites that RSF has mirrored:

  1. Grani.ru, blocked in Russia, is now available at https://gr1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  2. Fergananews.com blocked in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, is now available at https://fg1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  3. The Tibet Post International, blocked in China, is now available at https://tp1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  4. Dan Lam Bao, blocked in Vietnam, is now available at https://dlb1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  5. Mingjing News, blocked in China, is now available at https://mn1.global.ssl.fastly.net/news/main.html
  6. Hablemos Press, blocked in Cuba, is now available at https://hp1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  7. Gooya News, blocked in Iran, is now available at https://gn1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  8. Gulf Centre for Human Rights, blocked in United Arab Emirates, is now available at https://gc1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  9. Bahrain Mirror, blocked in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is now available at https://bahrainmirror.global.ssl.fastly.net/

To help make freely-reported news and information available in these countries, all Internet users are invited to join in this operation by posting this list on social networks with the #CollateralFreedom hashtag.

The ‘Enemies of the Internet’ whose citizens will now be able to access these news sites are Bahrain, China, Cuba, Iran, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Cecily Hilleary
Cecily began her reporting career in the 1990s, covering US Middle East policy for an English-language network in the UAE. She has lived and/or worked in the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf, consulting and producing for several regional radio and television networks and production houses, including MBC, Al-Arabiya, the former Emirates Media Incorporated and Al-Ikhbaria. She brings to VOA a keen understanding of global social, cultural and political issues.

One response to “#CollateralFreedom: RSF Unblocks Nine Censored News Sites”

  1. Brandon says:

    Google, Twitter, Facebook, blocked in China.