The Netherlands has previously blocked websites such as The Pirate Bay, whether or not on behalf of the European Union. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even more websites have been added.
The idea behind blocking websites is probably very noble, namely to prevent all kinds of misinformation from being spread or, for example, being incited to commit crimes.
But we must not forget that in authoritarian countries like China, exactly the same thing happens with a similar argument. This is a great disgrace in the West, and anyone who succeeds in developing a method to avoid the Great Firewall in China is considered a hero. But here in the European Union, too, we occasionally have a problem with freedom of expression.
So it is useful to discover tools that allow you to avoid blocking by internet providers and other means of censorship. Because sometimes we can decide for ourselves whether we are allowed to read something or not.
Proxy and VPN
A proxy is another website that reads and disguises your internet traffic, making it look like the internet traffic is coming from that server. Then you have public and anonymous proxies. Proxies used to be very popular, but now there is a better alternative.
One of the best ways to visit a blocked website is to use a good free VPN, for example Proton. With the help of this VPN you can pretend to be a Japanese or American user and still consult the Russian propaganda websites RT.com and Sputnik, which are blocked in the EU. Or The Pirate Bay. Are you taking a paid account? Then you have access to many more countries.
Another type of blocking is not done by the government, but by the website you want to visit itself. This often has to do with copyrights. For example, the website in question only has the rights for the United States. With geofencing, all IPs from outside the US will be blocked. You can also get around this by means of an American proxy or a VPN. For example, you can also watch American movies and series on Netflix with an American subscription.
The darkest category of banned websites is the dark web. Dark websites, whose internet address ends in .onion, can only be visited with a special browser, TOR. On the dark web you will find innocent things, for example books that are banned in some countries, and really anonymous e-mail addresses that are a godsend for activists in police states like Eritrea. In this category falls SecureDrop (accessible only with TOR), where dissidents can send sensitive documents to journalists. But unfortunately also really bad things such as drugs, weapons and child porn.