how to:How To Circumvent Content-Filtering Systems and Access Blocked Content with psiphon
Living behind a firewall? Want to use psiphon to circumvent content-filtering systems?
Psiphon is a free and open source web proxy that helps internet users bypass content-filtering systems used by governments in countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. It was developed by the Citizen Lab's CiviSec Project at the University of Toronto and was first released in December 2006. In this how to guide, learn how to use psiphon so you can access blocked content. If you have open access to the internet and want to learn how you can provide a proxy service with psiphon to someone behind a firewall, check out this how to guide.
Psiphon, unlike other circumvention services, is not intended to be a public, open proxy service. It’s based on a “web of trust” system so psiphon nodes are harder to block. What this means is that a person in an unrestricted location (one that is not behind a firewall) provides a psiphon proxy service to a person they are familiar with who is going online in a place where online access is limited. This is known as a psiphonode. A psiphonite is a psiphon user living in a censored country. The psiphonite connects to a psiphonode (set up by someone they know and trust) to access information freely.
Disclaimer: If your government filters the web it is likely that they also may dole out harsh punishment for dissent. Consider the risks carefully before engaging with filtered sites.
If you want to use a psiphonode, you must first obtain an invitation to use psiphon. You do not have to download any software or install anything on your computer to use psiphon, but you must get an invitation to use it.
If you do not know any psiphon users, you can ask other users on Psiphon’s Facebook page or Twitter page. It is important to note that there should be a level of trust between the two people, because the person providing the psiphonode will have access to all of the internet activity of the person with restricted access, including passwords and private information.
Once you’ve contacted someone with a psiphonode, he or she will send you an invitation with the URL, the username, and password. Enter the URL into your web browser and then use the username and password to log in.
The first time you try to use the psiphon URL, you may be re-directed to an error message saying that there is a non-valid SSL certificate. This happens because you are using an SSL connection (https:// not http://) and normally SSL connections are to be secured with an official SSL certificate to authenticate the server. There is a chance your privacy could be compromised because a network operator is pretending to be a psiphon server, but if you are more concerned with gaining access, go ahead and ignore the error.
Add an exception rule in your browser so you won’t encounter this error message each time you try to connect. Click on the “Add exception” link at the bottom of the error message page, then click “Add Exception,” and then “Get Certificate."
Finally, click to Confirm the Security Exception.
Log in with the username and password given to you.
Now, enter the URL for any restricted website you wish to access in the blue bar at the top of the page. NOTE: Do not enter the address into your browser’s regular address bar; you will need to use the psiphon address bar that is BELOW the regular address bar for your browser.
Click the arrow button after you type in the URL or press enter. You should then be directed to the website you want to visit. You should still see the psiphon address bar at the top of the page.