In the cat-and-mouse game of Internet censorship in China, the mice will always be ahead. As Wall Street Journal reports, some savvy web users are using a rather simple method for viewing restricted content:
Most computers, running both Windows and OS X (and smartphones running Android), contain a host file, which is a document with a list of Internet Protocol addresses (the back-end address accessed by a computer when a website name is typed into a web browser’s search bar). Copying and pasting new addresses into that file allows a computer to directly access particular websites. As a result, updating the list to include recent IP addresses for websites like Facebook, and then entering those sites’ addresses into a browser with a secure “https://” in place of “http://” in front of the address will allow users to get onto many blocked Western sites, and without the slower speeds and fees associated with most VPNs.
Does it work? If you’re also an Internet savvy type, please give it a try and let us know. (I’m very comfortably logged on to my Witopia, thank you very much.)