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Reporters org restores barred sites

Tibetan and Russian web users should be able to pick up banned websites, thanks to Reporters Without Borders, using major platforms that it will be difficult or embarrassing for the authorities to block.

The organization has set up real-time mirrors of nine websites that are banned in 11 countries, including the Tibet Post and Grani.ru.

RSF (from its French acronym) said it would maintain the sites for several months as part of Operation Collateral Freedom.

Mirror copies have also been placed on platforms run by Microsoft and Google, enabling viewers to access them through the Internet protocol (IP) addresses.

The cost of censorship

"The countries concerned could block these services but almost certainly will not," said Reporters Without Borders.

"Blocking Amazon, Microsoft or any major cloud computing service provider would cripple the thousands of tech companies that use them every day. The economic and political cost of blocking the mirror sites would therefore be too high."

The spokesman added that because the mirror sites were only accessible via the secure https protocol, the data transmissions would be encrypted. This, he explained, would prevent the authorities using keyword searches to censor specific content.

The BBC report also quoted a university professor as being skeptical that it would work.

Sources

BBC report » Reporters Without Borders »

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