Peacefire is now offering $10 to anyone who installs the Circumventor software on their home PC and shares out the URL for others to use, and leaves it up for at least a week. As far as I know this is the first time the publisher of any anti-censorship software has done this. It may help turn the tide in the cat-and-mouse game between anti-censorship server operators setting up new Circumventor sites, and blocking software companies trying to catch up and block them.

We have our own newsletter with about 20,000 subscribers (not a lot, but growing) that we use to distribute the URLs of new Circumventor sites, and $10 per machine is a lot cheaper than paying for a dedicated Web host. (The reason is that when you pay $50-$100 per month for a dedicated Web host, you’re paying for a lot more than just the hosting and bandwidth – you’re paying for near-100% uptime, tech support, the expense of an abuse desk to handle complaints, etc. All of that is stuff that we don’t need.)

And of course it’s an easy way for anyone with a Windows machine and a fast Internet connection to make some quick money. (Usually only one payout per person though – even if you had more than one computer in the same household, if you tried to install the Circumventor on both of them, they’d both end up with the same Circumventor URL anyway.)

Considering how many bogus “something for nothing” offers there are out there, we’ll have to see how well this bit of viral marketing fares against all the scams floating around.

[Bennett Haselton of]

[tags]censorship,peacefire,anti-censorship,bennett haselton,circumventor[/tags]