July 24, 2014

Introducing Streisand: Silence censorship. Automate the effect.

I am proud to announce the release of Streisand:

Streisand logo

The project kicked off in late March when Turkey started blocking Twitter. The restrictions were relatively easy to circumvent at first. I couldn’t stop thinking about the iconic images of the Google DNS servers that were spray painted all over the city.

DNS graffiti

IP addresses as a form of social protest? Be still my heart! But then the DNS workarounds were shut down and there was an immediate outpouring of various tutorials on what users should try next. I followed these links with great curiosity, and it wasn’t pretty.

It became clear that there was an enormous chasm between the simple solution people had been using and every other available option. Most of the server setup HOWTOs were riddled with errors, and the errors were frequently serious enough that they would prevent the software from functioning properly even if someone were diligent enough to follow the instructions perfectly (which would take forever). Censorship is easy, but getting around it can be hard.

Streisand aims to change that, and it is my sincere hope that it will help shift the balance of power back towards the people, where it belongs. As censorship attempts increase, more and more VPN servers will spring up–and now that process is significantly easier.

Silence censorship. Automate the effect.

Streisand on GitHub

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