The developer of proxy software designed to defeat Web
filters is offering Internet users $10 to install and run
his application, as a way to raise its profile.
Independent developer Bennett Haselton, creator of the Circumventor
proxy software, announced late Thursday that he would
pay the money to people who install Circumventor, send him
the URL of the proxy and keep it running for at least a
week. Haselton promotes Circumventor as a way for young
people to defeat Web-filtering software at schools and
libraries, but also as a tool for people living in countries
that filter Web content.
We'll distribute the [proxy] URLs to people who need
them, such as people serving in the U.S. military overseas
(where Internet connections are censored to limit access to
sites such as MySpace), and victims of totalitarian
dictatorships such as China, North Korea, and high school,
he wrote on his Peacefire.org
The U.S. House of Representatives vote in late July to
approve the Deleting Online Predators Act, which would
require many U.S. schools and libraries to block social
networking sites such as MySpace, prompted Haselton to make
the offer, he said in an e-mail.
Haselton will distribute the new proxy URLs on the
Circumventor e-mail list, which has about 20,000
subscribers, he said. Paying $10 per computer is "a lot
cheaper than paying for a dedicated Web host," he added.
Haselton said he hopes the $10 offer will give
Circumventor an advantage over Web-filtering software
vendors: It may help turn the tide in the cat-and-mouse game
between anticensorship server operators setting up new
Circumventor sites, and blocking software companies trying
to catch up and block them.