Bypassing Country Restrictions with Tor

When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects,’This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,’ the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.
Robert A. Heinlein

Seems like Censursula realized her threats — RT (Russia Today) on YouTube is currently no longer available in Germany.

RT’s YouTube Channel seen from within Germany ( )

Yeah, some politicians decide what citizens may see and what they may not see. What could go wrong. And — apparently — to hell with the German constitution. How was it (and yeah, as usual with our constitution, this right is limited by the next paragraph «These rights are limited by the provisions of general law»), but still:

Art. 5 Abs. 1 GG – Meinungs-, Presse-, Informationsfreiheit
Jeder hat das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern und zu verbreiten und sich aus allgemein zugänglichen Quellen ungehindert zu unterrichten. Die Pressefreiheit und die Freiheit der Berichterstattung durch Rundfunk und Film werden gewährleistet. Eine Zensur findet nicht statt.

[translated via Google Translate]

Art. 5 para. 1 GG – freedom of opinion, freedom of the press, freedom of information
Everyone has the right to freely express and disseminate their opinion in word, writing and image and to obtain information from generally accessible sources without hindrance. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting through radio and film are guaranteed. Censorship does not take place.

Yeah, no, Aunty Censursula apparently knows best. And no, even if YouTube (or rather its parent company) censored the channel «on their own», they did so because of political expediency. And yeah, of course the situation is an «extraordinary crisis» which requires «extraordinary measures». The wrong thing always does.


Well, a while ago Reporters without Borders published a «Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents» with useful tips for state censorship and oppression. Among them was the use of Tor (page 46 in the table of contents):

Strangely enough, the manual is no longer available on their website. Perhaps because it is no longer that easy to bypass state control and they do not want to provide a false sense of safety. After all, you might lose more than your job. Xkcd put it «nicely»:

But perhaps because their organization got compromised, I don’t know. They now seem to suggest to dissidents to go the legal route. I wish them luck.

But anyway, Tor still works. Just refresh the identity (broom icon) if you end up in Germany (or Europe?). Once you end up with an identity outside of Germany (or Europe?), the channel is displayed again:

Using Tor and having an identity outside of Germany (or Europe).
Using Tor and having an identity outside of Germany (or Europe).

And no, I don’t particularly like or trust RT, and yeah, it’s Russian propaganda. But I want to make up my own mind about a situation — and that requires hearing different, contradicting sides. And I have enough experience with politicians to not trust them with the truth — or to put it succinctly: They are power-hungry, not truth-serving.

Happy browsing.