How Businesses Are Going Borderless with Online Technology
Free Access to Information Online is Possible with These Tech Tools
In 2022, the world remains subject to censorship, despite widespread internet accessibility. Freedom House published a report detailing global internet freedoms, and findings indicate that 2021 was the 11th consecutive year of global internet freedom declines. The countries most affected by government crackdowns included Uganda, Belarus, and Myanmar.
The report further suggests that freedom of speech, expression, and opinion is being threatened in many countries worldwide. Governments continue to arrest religious, social, or political activists, restrict access to social media networks, or implement deception in data extraction technology and spyware to monitor users’ online activities.
This paints a worrying picture for entrepreneurs attempting to conduct business activities across international borders. The sanctioning of speech, association, and economic enterprise can adversely impact the livelihoods of citizens worldwide.
To this end, innovative techniques are being implemented to counteract government censorship and controls by opening up online communication channels. Various high-tech solutions are readily available to obfuscate borders, boundaries, and state-sanctioned constraints. These include VPN for PC, Mac, and smartphone devices, proxy servers, the onion router, et cetera.
Are VPNs Safe?
For those who know, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are robust technological solutions to bypass government-imposed restrictions on Internet access. Unfortunately, as governments around the world continue to implement blocks on undesirable websites, this leads to a situation of a state-controlled intranet.
Already, such measures are in effect across many countries, including the following: Cuba, Eritrea, Belarus, North Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Turkmenistan, Iran, China, Vietnam, Russia, et al. You can use a VPN to circumvent such blocks by encrypting the internet connection and making it appear as if you are accessing the internet from another country. This allows users to access otherwise restricted websites and content.
However, not all VPNs are created equal. Some may be more reliable than others, and some may be more expensive. Generally, VPNs are a safe way to bypass government restrictions on Internet access. An important point to focus on is whether VPNs share user logs with the authorities.
What About Proxy Servers?
A proxy server is another type of tool that you can use to bypass government restrictions on Internet access. A proxy server is an intermediary between the user’s device and the internet. When a user attempts to access a website, the request first goes through the proxy server, which then forwards the request onto the desired website. The website then responds back through the proxy server, which sends the response back to the user’s device.
Because proxy servers act as intermediaries, they can be used to hide a user’s IP address and location. This makes it more difficult for governments or other entities to track a user’s online activity. Additionally, because proxy servers can be located in different countries, you can use them to access websites that governments would otherwise block in the user’s country.
It’s worth noting that not all proxy servers are entirely anonymous, and some keep logs of user activity. Conduct the necessary research on a proxy server before using it to ensure that this tool meets your needs and requirements.
Is TOR Still Used?
The onion router (TOR) is a free software program that allows users to browse the internet anonymously. Unlike VPNs and proxy servers, which only provide anonymity while browsing the web, Tor also provides anonymity while using email, instant messaging services, etcetera. Tor works by routing traffic through a series of volunteer-run nodes (or relays). Each node only knows about the node immediately before and after it in the circuit; no single node knows both where the traffic came from originally and where it is going ultimately.
Furthermore, each node only knows about which relay came immediately before it; no single node knows both where the traffic came from originally and where it was going ultimately. This makes it very difficult for anyone who is trying to track or spy on users who are using Tor because their activities appear scattered and random, with no apparent pattern emerging. Tor is widely regarded as a powerful tech resource for staying safe online.
While Tor does provide a high degree of anonymity, it should be noted that it is not perfect, and there have been instances where users’ activities have been tracked despite using Tor. Therefore, users should take care when using Tor and make sure that they are not doing anything that could potentially get them into trouble.
These services provide viable means of accessing blocked content, staying anonymous, and keeping open channels of communication for businesses and consumers.