In many jurisdictions accessing blocked content is a serious crime, particularly content that is considered child pornography, a threat to national security, or an incitement of violence.
Most, however, rely on gaining access to an Internet connection that is not subject to filtering, often in a different jurisdiction not subject to the same censorship laws.
There are risks to using circumvention software or other methods to bypass Internet censorship.
In some countries individuals that gain access to otherwise restricted content may be violating the law, and if caught can be expelled from school, fired from jobs, jailed, or subject to other punishments and loss of access. Circumvention systems are designed to bypass blocking, but they do not usually protect identities. And while they can contribute to circumvention, that is not their primary function.
It is important to understand that open public proxy sites do not provide anonymity and can view and record the location of computers making requests as well as the websites accessed.
Circumvention sites and tools should be provided and operated by trusted third parties located outside the censoring jurisdiction that do not collect identities and other personal information.
Best are trusted family and friends personally known to the circumventor, but when family and friends are not available, sites and tools provided by individuals or organizations that are only known by their reputations or through the recommendations and endorsement of others may need to be used.
Commercial circumvention services may provide anonymity while surfing the Internet, but could be compelled by law to make their records and users' personal information available to law enforcement.
Internet censorship circumvention describes various processes used by Internet users to bypass the technical aspects of Internet filtering and gain access to otherwise censored material.
Circumvention is an inherent problem for those wishing to censor the Internet, because filtering and blocking do not remove content from the Internet and as long as there is at least one publicly accessible uncensored system, it will often be possible to gain access to otherwise censored material.