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Grants for anti-censorship tools

Sandra sez, "OpenITP's first round of 2013 project funding is now open for proposals! Project grants are meant to support specific technical efforts to improve users' ability to circumvent censorship and surveillance on the Internet. 'Technical' doesn't have to mean software or hardware. For example, they also consider efforts to improve user experience through translation, testing, projects to improve documentation, meetings that get developers together in person to solve specific problems, etc."

Soapy: an even better anti-SOPA browser plugin

Kate sez, "Soapy is a new web browser plug-in that allows users to visit websites blocked by SOPA by automatically redirecting them to the site's IP address. The Firefox version of the plugin is downloadable now; the Google Chrome version will be finished shortly. This free software makes the practical implementation of SOPA impossible, since anyone can download the plug-in and circumvent SOPA. So--if anybody can unblock SOPA, what is the point of SOPA?"

Soapy is written in JavaScript and XML. It automatically redirects the user to the site's IP address or an alternate site where the content is mirrored. These sites include everything from Wikileaks (frequently blocked at the DNS level) to the Computer Science Department at UC Davis (which discusses circumvention). And because only blocked sites or sites at risk are included, normal browsing isn't affected by the plugin. It is resilient because it cannot be blocked. Technically, all of the rules are contained within. It doesn't use an outside site or list or list of blocked websites, which makes it difficult or impossible to block.

The code is available on GitHub for programmers, activists, and informed consumers. Every site that Soapy unblocks has a set of XML rules that are tailored to the quirks of that specific site. Much of the code has been borrowed from HTTPS-Everywhere and NoScript. Templates are available so that unblocking future sites can be crowdsourced by hacktivists inside or outside the United States (Soapy's developer is a member of this community) as quickly as they are identified.

Soapy (Thanks, Kate!)