Right now, the men and women of the US Military are overseas fighting for your freedom. They chose to serve in the military knowing full well that someday they might be put in harm’s way. These brave men and women put country above their own safety. Now in far away lands, they defend us on the front lines. Over the years, these front lines have changed. Yes, the danger is still there, but so are options to relieve their boredom. Enter the world wide web. Just like us, they have access to the Internet.
The first thing to consider is that a soldier would definitely want to watch American television. Sure they might have access to some TV shows while they’re overseas, but those shows might actually be outdated. With the advent of the internet, American television shows are now available to any soldier, regardless of where they happen to be in the world. This is just one of the things that a soldier might want to do overseas, and it is a very important one. After all, what could be more relaxing than keeping up with the happenings on American television? There are so many new shows and new things to see. But that’s not all a soldier might want to do!
There are also several social networking websites out there that they can use to keep in touch with friends and family. Sure e-mail works to an extent, but if you have ever used any form of social networking, you know exactly how much simpler it is. You can type a message on your homepage, and suddenly all of your friends and family will be able to see it. Soldiers are very pressed for time, and sometimes there just isn’t an opportunity to respond to every single person. This makes social networking extremely important. There is a problem however, a huge problem. Sometimes soldiers cannot get to the websites that they need. Why exactly? Well let’s talk about it.
While Internet access is common around the world. And while our soldiers can usually access the Internet while overseas, many times the sites they want to visit are blocked. That’s right, blocked. There are two types of blocks. The first type is put in place by the country they are in. Many countries have restrictive Internet censorship. Apparently watching US TV or reading the New York times online is considered subversive or dangerous. Think I’m joking, do a Google search on Internet censorship and see what pops up. It’s downright scary. They other blocks are understandable and just as annoying. Many US websites block access from overseas. They do this by looking up the IP address of the surfer to determine their location. If it’s not in the US, it get’s blocked. They do this because it costs money to run a site. And many of these websites make their money with advertising. And advertisers don’t pay to advertise to people that they cannot sell to. Think about it, do you think it does Ford any good to advertise their US versions of their cars to consumers in Iraq? Not really. There is a way around these blocks though. Anonymous proxies.
An anonymous proxy changes the IP address of the surfer to one it has control over. A good anonymous proxy is also encrypted and protects any information sent over the Internet. With the change in the IP address to an IP address in the United States, the surfer can access US websites that are blocked because of the IP address. With encryption, the surfer can by pass in country blocks out in place by restrictive governments. For many people an anonymous proxy is a way to protect their Internet identity. For our servicemen, it’s a way to access the Internet freely just as all people in the US can.