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Internet Censorship

A Proxy Server services requests from clients by forwarding requests to other servers.
If you are computer “C”, and you want to access server “S” but it is blocked, point your client’s web browser to Proxy Server “P”.

Thus C -> P -> S

An example of such a site is http://www.kproxy.com (ignore the pop-up windows) but if you search the web for proxy servers, you can have a list of thousands. Some are even more specific on what services you want enabled or disabled, such as removing JavaScript, enabling cookies, or displaying images.

As long as your network connection’s ISP isn’t blocking the Proxy Server, you can get access to those sites. And some get creative by using another standard HTTP port 80. Ports 8080 or 8081 are the most common, so you would enter proxyserver.com:8080 for the URL.

A Circumventor is a Proxy servers used for defeating blocking policies implemented by an organization or country when “censorship” blocks access to certain sites. Of course, having a known list of proxy servers beforehand would be really helpful if you are planning a trip to such countries with censorship.

On the other hand, if I was an employee and wanted to check out my competition without them tracking my IP address, then this is an example of an Anonymizing proxy server.

An Anonymizing Proxy server is the correct term for the purpose of anonymity and is an alternate way using your AOL dialup account from your office. Besides, you want to take advantage of your high speed Internet connection, don’t you?

The reverse holds true with a reverse proxy server. Your corporate firewall may have a proxy server where everyone’s internal computer points to a central proxy server, and that server goes out and services requests.

Pros: it does speed up surfing for users, as it caches web site information and images from previously searched sites. It would also reduce the traffic, as the information is already stored and no need to go the destination site again. As well, the proxy server adds an additional level of security next to your corporate firewall.

Cons: your company can track every site you surf, and how long you stay on that particular site. Not good if you spend all day checking your hockey pool stats, or surfing questionable sites.