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Bypass the Blogspot Ban via SSH

The woes for Pakistani Internet users continue, it seems as if we have slowly learned to live life half crippled with no one bothering to have a second look at us. Blogspot has been blocked in Pakistan for around eleven months with absolutely no sign of relief, but despite all hurdles created by our own country crippling us to compete properly in the Internet era we have devised ways and means to circumvent this issue. Yasir and Naveed Memon helped us with the proxy servers located at Pkblogs and Inblogs, but over time it seems as if the servers are facing difficulty processing the encryption requests from the Blogger Beta upgrade. Bloggers who were on the old system are able to surf via pkproxy without a hitch but as soon as they upgrade their service it could very well be that blogger beta (more importantly www2.blogger.com resides on an IP that is blocked by PTA.

Having some problem surfing to blogspot websites with pkblogs I had resolved to try and find another solution, I went on a prowl for good solution after a massive hunt I came up with the idea of setting up a secure SSH tunnel in combination with FoxyProxy Plug-in on FireFox. Let me explain the process, its a little difficult setting up for a newbie but a step by step tutorial can solve the issue quite easily.

SSH Tunnel is an encrypted direct connection with some server located outside Pakistan and once connected into this tunnel you are actually sitting on the server and can browse the Internet without the PTA ever knowing any better.

The secure tunneling uses a direct, encrypted connection to the private server. Thus, even people with physical access to your network, telephone, broadband, or wireless communications (read PTA) cannot snoop on your Internet activities.

With SSH

Without secure tunneling, network or ISP administrators (and talented crackers) can see what Web sites you have visited, what newsgroup files you have downloaded, and what e-mail you have sent or received

no SSH

What you need to establish this encrypted tunneling is to subscribe to an SSH account one usually comes with hosting services like Dreamhost, then download PuTTy for Windows as the Terminal or Telnet client will not do lastly ensure that you are using a Mozilla based browser preferably FireFox armed with a FoxyProxy Plug in (btw if you are still using the stone age Internet Explorer, stop immediately Go to Jail, Do Not Pass Go, and just GET FIREFOX)

Creating and setting up the Putty account is probably a little time consuming as everyone may have a different configuration provided by their host but its generally easy. You can take help from a few good tutorials which I have also used to solve the problem but do remember to customize settings to the information provided by your host. Some good step-by-step tutorials are Damtp.ac.uk & PhilePlanet. Once past this hurdle of configuring PuTTy you are almost home free to finally configure your FireFox to use this secure shell connection every time you click on a blogspot.com domain to finally have a PTA free life forever more.

Setting up FoxyProxy to use blogspot.com

Step One

Enter the Options panel of Foxy Proxy and click ‘Add New Proxy’

Foxy Proxy 1

Step Two

Name the proxy settings with any name you like then in the General Tab then Go to Patterns Tab and select ‘Add New Pattern’ enter the details as follows and press OK

Foxy Proxy 2

Step Three

Go the Proxy Details Panel and enter the following information and press OK

Foxy Proxy 3

Now every time you launch your browser just make sure you have PuTTy connected with your host and then resume normal life, let the shell tunneling solve all your headaches with the PTA gag restrictions. If you fall in love with this technology then you can easily switch to this being your permanently ultra-secure route to the world-wide-web.

If you have any technical questions please leave a comment below and I will try my best to help out


7 Comments

  • Absar |

    Great tip! But it seems that most blogger users are moving over to wordpress.com, haunted by all these visitor troubles! My brother moved his blog over to wordpress.com last week, but let’s see how long it is before that, too, gets blocked.

  • Teeth Maestro |

    Absar, I have strongly recommended many to move their blog away from blogspot as it makes life hell with the PTA gag-order in effect. But to be honest I use this to browse all websites located on blogspot.

    This utility is great for a blogger on blogspot as well as a person browsing through blogs. I actually turn the SSH tunnel on in the morning and surf without a second glance, the FoxyProxy automatically routes all blogspot links through the SSH tunnel while the rest of my surfing is done normally. I never notice a difference what service am I using and it has become second nature.

  • shobz |

    Doc you forgot to mention wordpress. There are times when i cant access wordpress and update my blog. i was unable to access my blog for a week. i was fortunate that i found an anon proxy which allowed me to log on and edit my blog. I am pretty sure that they are planning to block wordpress as well.

  • cgreality |

    Недвижимость в Черногории очень выгодна сразу по нескольким показателям. недвижимость в Черногории – это не только собственная квартира или дом на курорте, но и надежное вложение инвестиций. Власти Черногории не чинят никаких препятствий россиянам, желающим купить недвижимость в Черногории. При приобретении недвижимости в Черногории, власти автоматически предоставят Вам вид на жительство. Покупка недвижимости в Словении также поощряется властями. Иностранные граждане могут приобрести Недвижимость в Словении после того, как создадут фирму с капиталом около 10000 евро. Приобретение недвижимости в обоих государствах имеет еще один плюс – она намного дешевле нашей.