Collateral Freedom: thwarting censorship in 13 “Enemy of the Internet” countries

To mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, RSF is launching the second round of its Operation Collateral Freedom by making six more news websites accessible in the countries where they are currently blocked.

Collateral Freedom: how we thwart censorship

In an original initiative designed to circumvent website blocking by governments that violate human rights, Reporters Without Borders is using the technique known as mirroring to duplicate the censored sites and place the copies on the servers of Internet giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google. In these 13 countries that are “Enemies of the Internet,” blocking the servers of these Internet giants in order to make the mirror sites inaccessible would deprive thousands of companies of essential services. The economic and political cost would be too high.

Reporters Without Borders is renting bandwidth for this operation that will gradually be used up as more and more people visit the mirror sites. 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.

The mirror sites created by Reporters Without Borders in 2016

This list is also available at https://github.com/RSF-RWB/collateralfreedom

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.

GreatFire – our partner organization

Operation Collateral Freedom is the brainchild of GreatFire, an NGO operated by Chinese activists that has already created unblockable mirror sites of Deutsche Welle, Google and China Digital Times. GreatFire’s tools and technology are freely available online for anyone to use to combat online censorship. We are posting an opinion piece by GreatFire co-founder Charlie Smith, entitled “How to fight censorship with freedom of speech,” on our 12 March website (12mars.rsf.org). GreatFire’s tools and experience were our source of inspiration for this year’s World Day Against Cyber-Censorship.