HRTR - Washington, DC, August 2, 2008 — The Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) announced today that their anti-censorship software tools are ready to help journalists and tourists during the Olympics, to circumvent China’s Internet blockade. The software, which is available free of charge, can be downloaded onto a hard drive or USB drive to safely and effectively overcome the Internet censorship in China.
In the run-up to Olympics, Beijing tightened control over media and Internet. Overseas web sites that have keywords on Beijing’s blacklist are blocked and cannot be visited from China without any “anti-censorship” tools. The decision to block access to these websites is in contravention to Beijing’s earlier promises to grant unrestricted Internet access to foreign reporters during the Games, and will seriously impede reporters’ ability to do their work in Beijing. Although web restrictions were relaxed to some degree on Friday, it is unclear how long these conditions will last.
In order to overcome these Internet restrictions and gain free access to the Internet in China, the GIFC recommends that journalists and tourists download the free software packages by its partners. All Internet traffic through the tools is encrypted and can successfully bypass the Internet blockades in repressive nations around the world.
GIFC partner organizations have been developing and maintaining anti-censorship tools of all shapes and flavors since 2000. Some of the tools, such as “UltraSurf,” “FreeGate,” “Garden,” “GPass” and “FirePhoenix,” are very popular among web surfers in China who are eager to explore the world behind the Great Firewall. About one million users worldwide are using these GIFC tools on a regular basis.
The software tools can be downloaded at http://www.internetfreedom.org .
“You can try the tools here first to get acquainted with the interface. Then you can circumvent the censorship and continue to visit any web site when you are in China,” said Tao Wang, Director of Operations. He stressed, “We will continue to roll out new releases quickly during the Olympics. So please make sure you always come to our official web sites for latest updates and stay connected.”
About The Global Internet Freedom Consortium
Formed in 2006, the Consortium is an alliance of organizations that develop and deploy anti-censorship technologies for Internet users residing in oppressive regimes. The Consortium partners have contributed significantly to the advancement of information freedom in China. The anti-censorship technologies which the Consortium members developed have enabled Internet users in China, Iran, Vietnam, Burma, etc. to securely visit websites blocked by the regimes, such as those of Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. For more information, visit: http://www.internetfreedom.org