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Anonymizer has gone live with a service that aims to circumvent Chinese censorship restrictions.

The online identity protection firm has released software (initially available at xifuchun.com, an English language site) designed specifically for Chinese citizens, that offers a way around the web filters put in place by Beijing.

In addition, the software promises to shield the personal identities and related information of users that the Chinese government is currently able to monitor. The website that currently hosts the software download is www.xifuchun.com. This URL will be changed on a regular basis to avoid blocking by the Chinese government. Anonymizer is relying on early adopters to share the regularly changing URLs with their friends and family members.

Users must first submit a valid email address to receive regular updates containing new configuration directions and the latest location of the download site. The service is only available to people whose IP address is located in China.

Anonymizer's technology acts as a proxy for web surfing, frustrating IP address logging and some hacking attempts, while keeping a user's browser history and cookie folder free of potentially incriminating evidence. Chinese citizens are being offered software downloads at no charge along the same lines as a similar package that was offered to people in Iran.

"Anonymizer is excited to provide this free service to the people of China," Anonymizer president and chief scientist Lance Cottrell said. "Our goal is to make the internet an even playing field for everyone, including those under the rule of repressive regimes. We’ve had great success in other areas of the world, including our current work in Iran, and we’re looking forward to bringing safe internet access to others." ®

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