RePress: WordPress plugin unblocks censored URLs-TorrentFreak
February 7, 2012
TorrentFreak: January 26, 2012
A new WordPress plugin makes it dead easy to uncensor blocked websites. In just a few clicks people can setup their own proxy site with the popular blogging software. An essential tool for people whose speech is restricted by oppressive regimes, and handy for downloaders in The Netherlands, Italy, Finland and other countries where ISPs are blocking The Pirate Bay. Additionally, the plugin partially defeats the PIPA and SOPA bills in the US.
There’s been a lot of talk about censorship lately. Last week the Internet witnessed the largest protest in its history, against the Internet censorship bills PIPA and SOPA. And earlier this month ISPs in Finland and the Netherlands were ordered to censor The Pirate Bay.
Alongside the millions who protest against these increasing censorship initiatives, there’s also a group of people who come up with ways to route around it. One of these projects is the RePress plugin for WordPress.
The plugin is developed by the hosting company Greenhost and allows everyone with a WordPress blog to start a proxy for sites that are censored elsewhere in the world. As an example, Greenhost have setup a Pirate Bay and Wikileaks proxy.
“By adding this plug-in to your WordPress website it will start functioning as a proxy and uncensor any blocked website you’d like,” Greenhost explains. “The only thing you’ll need is a WordPress website and the ability to install new plug-ins. After that you can maintain a list of websites you’d like to keep open freely available on the web.”
One of the main motivations for the plugin’s developers was to provide people in the Netherlands full access to The Pirate Bay when the recent court order is enforced. However, if SOPA or PIPA pass there might also be a need for people in the US to have a tool like this.
“We hope people outside Holland use the plug-in to uncensor piratebay.org, as it is in danger of being blocked in our country after a court-ruling. In the Netherlands we could then uncensor websites for people in oppressive regimes like Iran, Syria or the US after SOPA is passed.”
“[SOPA and PIPA] are said to defend the interests of the Entertainment industry, but will mainly cause grave and undeniable damage to the Open and Free web and all of its users: from the end-consumer to the cutting edge developers and inventors. Our aim is to make this impossible,” the Greenhost team notes.
Although the plugin can’t prevent domain names from being seized, it is indeed a good solution to bypass all of the common blocking measures that are used today.
The RePress initiative is applauded by several politicians, including European Parliament member Marietje Schaake. “This is a fantastic opportunity for human rights activists and a solution for people who face technological censorship and repression,” she told Webwereld.
To those eager to start their own proxy of blocked websites, RePress can be downloaded in the WordPress repository.