The Circumventor.com project is a network for distributing tools and websites to help users
circumvent Internet censorship. Most of our users are subscribers to our "proxy mailing list",
where we send out new proxy sites about twice per week.
(A proxy site is a website that enables the user to circumvent their local Internet blockers.
Regimes that filter Internet access, typically also block proxy sites as soon as they
find out about them, which is why we continually mail out new ones, so that the most recently
released ones are usually not blocked.)
As of August 2011, about 3 million users have signed up to receive the new proxy sites we send
out via e-mail and Facebook groups.
Circumventor.com grew out of the website
Peacefire.org, a site which was originally created in 1996
to document problems with Internet censoring programs that were commonly used in
schools and libraries.
In 2003, the first incarnation of the "Circumventor mailing
list" was created and hosted on peacefire.org, where users could sign up to
receive proxy sites by email -- websites that would allow them to circumvent
Eventually, the Circumventor "brand" became far more widely known than the
original Peacefire.org site, and the Circumventor mailing list was moved
to the newly created Circumventor.com site in 2011.
The Circumventor.com project is run primarily by Bennett Haselton out of Bellevue, Washington.
Many individuals living in censored countries such as China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia have provided
invaluable assistance over the years, by supplying information about the Internet blocking methods
in their respective countries, and testing various workarounds. Most of them unfortunately cannot
be credited by name as this would put them at risk of retaliation from their own governments.
These individuals have no official affiliation with Circumventor.com but have provided greatly
needed assistance and advice:
James Marshall, developer of CGIProxy, one of the first freely
available proxy scripts that enabled many webmasters to set up free proxy sites for users in censored countries.
Gabriel Ramuglia, webmaster of many extremely popular proxy sites
such as VTunnel, for assistance and advice on running proxy
- Jonathan Wallace, Seth Finkelstein,
Jim Tyre, and Jamie McCarthy, former fellow members of the (now-defunct) Censorware Project, which researched
flaws and misrepresentations in the Internet blocking software industry.