How to get round being blocked and banned

Or….. learning to love Tor and Privoxy.


On 18 August, I got an email from a friend who tried to visit another site. She said “I couldn’t look at the page, though, because he has me blocked out. Could you try it and send me a screenshot?“. Tut tut, stupid move is blocking someone. Stupid because it’s easier to work round than implement. I emailed my friend back, putting the url’s to Tor and Privoxy into the email. I got a reply – “now I can look at that wretched vermin’s site anytime I want.”.
Normally I’d create a little how-to for using programs, but this time there is no need. Very good guide here for Windows and other systems are covered too. It’s very very easy to setup.

Legality ? Totally legit. Tor is supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation while Privoxy is Free Software and hosted at Sourceforge.

So why hide ? Lots of reasons…

  1. Maybe like my friend you have been blocked from a website and you’d really like to see it
  2. Maybe you want to see what the site looks like seeing as they appear to be localising searches more
  3. Maybe you want to compare prices between iTunes UK and iTunes Europe
  4. Maybe you are a Brit living abroad who wants to download BBC material which they will be protecting by using GeoIP
  5. Maybe you want to login to your WP blog using Privoxy just so you too can see ‘You must enable sending referers’
  6. Maybe you want other sites to not know where you came from, or what browser you have, or what OS you have, or who you are.
  7. And maybe you just want to do it because like much other code on the net, it’s a tool. And tools have good uses, and bad uses. But just because something could be used for bad does not mean to say we shouldn’t talk about it at all does it ?

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