The threats to free speech online are real and often deadly. They are growing- freedom online has decreased every year for the past six years. Around the world, citizen journalists and human rights activists living under government censorship risk imprisonment and torture; their families are put at risk by their important work. Political publications that question state-owned media sources become targets for police violence, and individual online behavior is tracked and punished. Individuals living behind government firewalls are cut off from information about the world, about their own governments, and about the possibility of a freer life. American journalists and human rights activists who travel for their work face these same threats. Every person deserves access to the unfettered world wide web of ideas, education, and perspectives.
Free Speech Online creates the software for access and privacy into the hands of the people who need them the most, and makes its content-neutral tools available to every web user around the world for free— because people should decide for themselves what to share and what to seek.
Recently, Catalonians in Spain have used the tool for the censored Catalonian referendum. Iranian activists based in Canada shared that CGIProxy was the only type of proxy that remains unblocked in Iran during the periods of heaviest blocking in 2009. Influencers, such as journalists, human rights advocates, and cultural leaders, as well as vulnerable and oppressed men and women, rely on CGIProxy to find and share content. Other circumvention tool creators study CGIProxy’s open source code to learn how to address technical challenges. CGIProxy is uniquely scalable: Anyone can create a proxy for their community and each proxy runs independently.
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