The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) yesterday urged people to help Iranian protesters “safely communicate and receive information tdespite he barriers being established by Iranian authorities.”
EFF notes that one way people can help is to set up a Tor (“The Onion Router”) relay or a Tor bridge.
Internet users in Iran are using Tor to both (a) circumvent censorship systems and (b) remain anonymous while reading and writing on the Internet. Both are critically important to the safety of protesters, many of whom fear retaliation from the government. Preliminary reports indicate that use of the Tor client in Iran has increased in the days after the contested election.
However, Tor’s design relies on a robust network of “volunteer computers” (a.k.a. relays) to pass messages back and forth. This means that the speed and quality of a Tor users’ browsing experience relies extensively on the number of volunteer computers there are to pass messages along. This is where volunteers can make a difference — setting up additional relays improves access for dissident Iranians and other users of the Tor network. The more people who help out, the better and more quickly the network runs. If you’re interested in helping out, find and follow instructions for configuring a Tor relay on the Tor website.
Read more on EFF.