Internet censorship and ongoing surveillance has been on the rise in Bahrain. This not only limits but deletes any notion of freedom of speech in the country, causing activists in particular to live in a constant case of panic over their data and anything they share on the web that is immediately revealed to the Information Affairs Authority and made visible to corrupt officials who press charges against activists and free speech advocates. If you believe in the struggle for freedom of speech in Bahrain, we encourage you to resist these efforts and protect the local web - but in the process we urge you to protect yourself as well.
BCHR strongly believes in the citizens' right to access information, this includes sensitive data that exposes government corruption, torture, police brutality, and injustice in all its forms. Any website that has revealed this info has been censored or its admins imprisoned and its members under threat. This is a human rights violation and we are committed to exposing it as such.
A free and just society starts with unlimited access to information that affects us all. Apart from censoring blogs and key websites that expose injustice, censorship and surveillance has now expanded to include social media activities on networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Tor is a system that enables its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.
If you have an Android device, we recommend Orbot, an application that allows mobile phone users to access the web, instant messaging and email without being monitored or blocked by their mobile internet service provider. Orbot brings the features and functionality of Tor to the Android mobile operating system.
LifeHacker has a guide on VPN connections and the pros and cons of using them. Before you commit to one service, we recommend that you ask around on the best practices and methods to guarantee that your information is also protected from third party sources.
Do you have a recommendation or question regarding security? Get in touch with us and we'll do our best to connect you with security teams around the world who can guide you at protecting your efforts on the web.
For this reason, we encourage our members and supporters within Bahrain to protect themselves with software that can in some ways protect their anonymity. We cannot guarantee complete and immediate security, so please practice caution and use these programs responsibly if you're in a position to fear for your safety.