BY JERIN MATHIEW
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
Users of the internet in countries which attempt to impose censorship on the internet are resorting to a range of web protocols and techniques in order to beat the bans on website access.
Smart users are working their way around such restrictions with relatively sophisticated techniques such as Virtual Private Networks or the Tor Browser Bundle.
Internet censorship has soared to new heights over the last three years, according to an infographic from NeoMam Studios. As many as 34 countries have increased internet censorship since 2012, with 19 countries blocking one or more social media or VoIP services.
In 2013, about 39 countries actively filtered online content, while 35 countries boosted online surveillance by law and/or investment.
More than 685 million internet users are living in the 10 countries that suffer the most from censorship, according to estimates.
Nevertheless, people made use of certain workarounds to get online.
The top tools used by people to beat internet censorship include Virtual Private Network (VPN), a technology using encrypted tunnels in online communication to hide IP addresses, make browsing anonymous and bypass censorship.
About 19% of people around the world are using VPN to hide browsing details from government at present.
The Tor Browser Bundle is another tool used by people to hide locations and computer configuration. The browser uses a network of tunnels and nodes that provide zigzagging pathways to block tracking.
Meanwhile some others use web proxies that are website-form applications using intermediary web servers to bypass national filters and jump firewalls.
An infographic detailing the impact of internet censorship across the globe and the workarounds used by people is given below.