March 10, 2023•321 words
Internet censorship is a serious threat to freedom of expression and access to information around the world. Many governments block or restrict websites and services that they deem undesirable, such as news outlets, social media platforms, human rights organisations, and even Tor, a network that allows users to browse the web anonymously and circumvent censorship.
But what if you could use your browser to help people in censored countries access the Internet without restrictions? That's exactly what Snowflake does. Snowflake is a browser extension maintained by the Tor Project and allows individuals to volunteer their bandwidth and become temporary proxies for users in censored countries who want to connect to the Tor network.
When I downloaded the Snowflake extension on my Firefox browser and left it to run for a few hours, I managed to help 9 people with restricted internet access the web freely.
How does Snowflake work?
Snowflake works by creating a constantly moving mesh of proxies that no government could ever block. Once you install and enable the extension in your browser (available for Chromium browsers and Firefox), you will see a snowflake icon on your toolbar. When the icon turns green, it means that a censored user is connecting through your extension to access the Internet via Tor. You don't need to do anything else; just keep your browser open and let Snowflake do its magic.
How can I join Snowflake?
Joining Snowflake is easy and safe. You don't need any technical skills or special configuration; just download and install the extension from the Chrome Web Store or Firefox Add-ons. You can also visit snowflake.torproject.org for more information and instructions.
If you prefer not to run an extension on your browser, you can visit relay.love and keep the tab open.
The more people that download the Snowflake extension, the easier it will be to help people in censored countries access the Internet without restrictions.