Culture

How to bypass SOPA blocking to reach sites directly

Soapy is a Firefox extension that aims to make it much simpler to visit SOPA-blocked sites.

The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is at this point likely to pass, and thus likely to interfere with Web traffic in ways that may frustrate regular, noninfringing uses.

There are many tools being readied to help those users access their favorite blocked sites upon implementation of SOPA, but Soapy is ready right now. Here's how to use it:

  1. Download Soapy here.
  2. From your download folder, drag the "soapy.xpi" file into an open Firefox window.
  3. You should see a warning window. Click "Install."
    Step 3: Install Soapy.
    Step 3: Install Soapy.
  4. Restart Firefox.
  5. If SOPA has already been implemented (as of yet, it's making its way through Congress), you're good to go. If not, you should probably disable Soapy until you need it. Just click the Firefox menu button in the top left, then select "Add-ons." Click "Disable" next to Soapy, then restart Firefox again.
That's it! Soapy comes with a few caveats: you can't use HTTPS with the sites Soapy directs you to (which is why you should disable it until you need it), and Soapy only redirects to sites it knows about. This list should grow quickly once sites start to get blocked, but you may have to wait for its list to get updated if you try to visit a site that was recently blocked.

(Via Boing Boing)

Update: While I was writing this, Congress has stripped the DNS-blocking provisions from the bill. It's not a done deal yet; the Judiciary Committee is still open to examining the provision. It's still a good idea to be prepared if things should change.