Here are a few ways to get around SOPA restrictions

How to keep censors from knowing what you're up to online

You would think, from the volume, intensity and apocalyptic frenzy of both supporters and opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) that the bill, if it ever passes into law, will automatically route every geek to prison who ever downloaded an MP3, bring RIAA goons to the door of anyone who criticizes the RIAA's radical-thug approach to counter-piracy and allow agents of Facebook to take DNA samples by force and posting their personal genetic sequences as part of a profile to be sold to marketers.

That's not the case. Close, but not quite. No one wants to give Facebook bio-samples.

There is also resistance of more than just the vocal kind.

Thankfully, the American tradition of contrary bloody-mindedness is alive and well and living in cyberspace.

As always, the easiest way to avoid fingerpointing or censorship is to use an encrypted VPN connection to a free or paid proxy server that gives you an IP address from somewhere you definitely are not. Proxies can help you surf where you want despite disapproval from everyone from employers who don't want you Facebooking or watching sports during business hours to RIAA anti-pirates who think it's flattering to be compared unfavorably to Torquemada.

Even simpler than proxies, however, is DeSopa, a Firefox add-on whose acronymic title stands for DNS Evasion to Stop Oppressive Policy in America.

DeSopa reroutes blocked web site requests through foreign DNS servers, making it look as if you're surfing in from overseas, rather than from U.S. hardware that can be legally blocked by unConstitutional means.

Another Firefox add-on called The Pirate Bay Dancing is also designed to avoid DNS and IP blocks by routing requests through a series of randomly chosen proxies.

The Department of Homeland Security's Immigration, Customs Enforcement (ICE) division asked Mozilla to take the add-on down from its sanctioned site, according to TorrentFreak, but Mozilla refused.

The add-on was originally written to provide access to BitTorrent site ThePirateBay, but expanded to support other blocked IP addresses as well as to bypass censorship sites such as the "great firewall of China."

They don't like SOPA in general, don't like the ability written into the bill that would allow specific IP addresses to be blocked and DNS pointers to be deleted in order to take a site offline without having to actually confiscate its server.

Quick example: MafiaAFire, which developed Pirate Bay Dancing, put out another add on called Gee! No Evil!, which was inspired by Google's decision to remove the word "torrent" from its autocomplete search lists due to pressure from RIAA and others.

Gee! Periodically downloads a copy of the list of words Google is currently banning and stores them; then, when the user types words that might fit the pattern of a banned word, the add-on fills them in and has Google search them.

What Congress tries to take away, the Internet's trolls, hackers and hacktivists return

The group plans to expand functions of its other add-ons as well, do counter access-limiting functions of SOPA as well, according to members of the developer team, MafiaAFire, as quoted in TorrentFreak.

Here are a few other articles, how-tos and tips to help counter whatever is limiting your ability to browse, download or search the interwebs freely, as the founders of this great republic intended. (G-Washington was a wicked FPS gamer; Madison was a troll.)

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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