How we are doing it

Circumventing state censorship in order to unblock these 15 websites is only possible with sophisticated techniques known as “mirroring.”

To understand this process, it is important to know that each site is hosted on a server that the censors block to prevent access to the content. The authorities or other groups can attack IP addresses, domain names and content.


To prevent this kind of blocking in the first round of Operation Collateral Freedom, RSF used techniques based on those developed by GreatFire, an NGO that has carried out many operations of this kind with the aim of circumventing Chinese government censorship.


Last February, RSF set itself the goal of improving the process for creating virtual copies of these censored sites. At the end of the Collateral Freedom hackathon organised by RSF and hosted by the Cantine de Brest, volunteer developers managed to create a new script allowing the content of the censored site to be displayed, in real time, on an uncensored server.


The unblocked sites will be hosted on a strategic server run by a major service provider such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google, one that would-be censoring governments would be unlikely to block because the “collateraldisruption and damage would outweigh the potential benefits.


For all this to work, bandwidth has to be bought on the new server (operated by Amazon or one of the other companies). A given sum of money buys a specific amount of bandwidth, the duration of which depends on the volume of visits to the unblocked sites. The more the site is visited, the quicker the bandwidth is used up.


This is why we have made it possible for you to make an online donation that will be used to buy more bandwidth and thereby extend the duration of this operation against the enemies of the Internet.