[WikiEN-l] helping access Wikipedia from censored connections

Gabe Johnson gjzilla at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 16:47:57 UTC 2007

On 6/30/07, Bennett Haselton <bennett at peacefire.org> wrote:
> Re-greetings,
> A few months ago I was here for a very interesting discussion about
> Wikipedia vs. Citizendium and in particular about the idea of having teams
> of identity-verified "experts" who could take custody of articles to help
> prevent errors and vandalism.  This time I'm asking about something less
> controversial.  Well, maybe :)
> Peacefire runs a network of proxy sites like
> https://www.StupidCensorship.com/ for getting around Internet filtering;
> unlike most proxy sites which are widely known and get blocked quickly, we
> encourage people to sign up to receive e-mail updates whenever we create
> new sites, and since it usually takes a few days for newly mailed sites to
> get blocked, most of our users are usually able to use the latest one we've
> mailed out.  One of the most frequent comments from our users is that
> they're glad that they can get on Wikipedia through the proxies.  So how
> can we help get the word out to more Wikipedians -- many of whom are
> undoubtedly not aware of the easy methods for accessing Wikipedia from
> censored networks?  (That is, they probably know about proxies, but may not
> know how to get an unlimited supply of proxies so the latest one is always
> unblocked.)  Our organization's whole purpose is to help people get around
> Internet blocking, so every time we help someone gain access to Wikipedia,
> we're achieving our mission and, presumably, helping Wikipedia achieve
> theirs as well.
> We're willing to spend the money on the hardware and the bandwidth for the
> proxies to help people get access, so how can we do it in a way that
> benefits Wikipedia users the most?  (Disclaimer: we do get some money back
> from the ads that runs on our site, but not at a profit; we just barely
> break even on the ads right now.  So there may not be quite the same "halo"
> around these services as there is around the bandwidth and hardware that's
> donated outright to Wikipedia for free :)  However, to be constantly
> setting up new dedicated sites to help people get around Internet blocking,
> requires creating new accounts with different hosting companies all the
> time, and it would be impractical to try and get each of them to agree to
> provide pro bono services each time we set up a new site, which is why we
> have to spend money for that and why the ads help to pay for it.)
> Since Wikipedia does have articles about subjects such as sexuality that
> are often blocked in schools, I recognize there might be a minority of
> Wikipedia supporters who nonetheless feel that the site *should* be blocked
> from students, but I'm hoping that the vast majority of Wikipedians would
> not feel that way.  First of all, most blocking programs claim not to block
> sites that deal with those subjects in an "educational" context, which
> means the vast majority of articles on Wikipedia, even those about topics
> like sex, should not be blocked, by the companies' own stated
> criteria.  Second, I think most reasonable people would agree that
> virtually every teenager could read almost everything on Wikipedia without
> "harm", and that the educational benefits are enormous.  (Well, they would
> be if you had experts sign off on the articles.  *ducks*)
> So, what can we do to help?  If we had an unlimited budget for
> circumvention services, how could we best use it to help
> Wikipedia?  (Whatever the answer to that would be, there's probably a way
> we can achieve some part of it, even on a limited budget.)  In addition to
> just providing the sites, there might be times when if a new Wikipedia
> feature is being released, for example, we could do cross-platform testing
> to see if it's compatible with our proxies so we can alert users to any
> issues.  What do you all think?
>        -Bennett
> bennett at peacefire.org     http://www.peacefire.org
> (425) 497 9002

Well, in theory open proxies are blocked from editing. In practice,
especially with the Peacefire proxies, I have found this is not the
case. ~~~~

Absolute Power
C^7rr8p£5 ab£$^u7£%y

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