Earlier this week, we brought you news of Freedom House’s report on Internet Freedom in which we found that South Korea earned a rating of 34 out of 100, and 16th out of 47 countries evaluated. While being on the upper 3rd of those might be admirable in some instances, being in the bottom two-thirds may not.
If you’re living in South Korea, it may have already become apparent to you that many places on the internet are not available. For some sites, that may be due to Korean censorship, particularly sites that are politically motivated (North Korean news or support sites come to mind). Other sites being unavailable may be caused by the Korean government’s attempt to control your morality by stopping you from seeing things they feel oversteps the decency line. In still others, it may be a desire to enforce copyright restrictions within country boundaries such as Hulu.com. In this article, I’ll show you how to get around those controls and restrictions and read sites you want to read, watch what you want to watch and generally enjoy a level of freedom the average user in Korea cannot. Keep in mind, however, that UlsanOnline.com does not endorse doing these things. Most of them are illegal. This is strictly for your own personal edification.
There are a number of ways to foil internet censorship. Using web proxies, a method of directing your traffic to and from a specific server outside of the country works for some types of censorship, but servers are crowded, not always secure and are increasingly flush with advertising. Using a proxy server requires you to insert an IP address or host-name into the internet settings of your browser. For non-technical folks, this is a non-optimal solution. Later, if that server becomes unavailable, you must manually change it. Furthermore, some PC network installations prevent ordinary users from modifying network settings making this method impossible.
Another way is to download and install an application such as UltraSurf. Ultrasurf hides your whereabouts, encrypts your communications and circumvents censorship. This tool appears to be very popular in China. Sadly, though, the app only works on PCs and is not available for Mac or Linux.Although this app must be installed, it is possible to install and use on a USB stick to prevent others from using (or even knowing you’re using) or deleting your app. While this sounds good, critics argue that UltraReach, the company behind UltraSurf logs data and has been known to work with law enforcement to divulge that information and cannot guarantee anonymity. Arguments between the two sides are ongoing.
Finally, and in my opinion, the best way to get what you want out of the internet is to use the Tor Network. Tor is a sophisticated network of proxy servers. It is free open source software developed primarily to allow anonymous Web browsing, but it is also a great censorship circumvention tool. You must download the Tor bundle, but there is no installation required and the downloaded files are directly usable with almost zero setup. Simply note where you save the Tor bundle, it will extract itself to a location of your choosing – note this location as well. When you’re ready to surf anonymously and access forbidden sites, browse to the folder you extracted to and click “Start Tor Browser” After a few seconds, Tor automatically launches a special version of the Firefox Web browser with a test Web site. If you see the green message “Congratulations. Your browser is configured to use Tor.” you can then use that window to open blocked Web sites. Simple as that. Fire up the Tor browser and visit Hulu, CWTV, Or the Rodong SinMun if you want. Just remember: we didn’t say it was ok to do that.
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