Freedom Stick highlights Chinese 'net censorship

Chinese flag
China's history of internet censorship is drawing criticism during the Olympics

Two days into the Beijing Olympics and there's still plenty of mileage left in the debate over Chinese state interference in basic freedoms, including the country's controversial internet filtering policy.

Naturally, the opportunity to highlight the issue hasn't been passed up by groups such as the Chaos Computer Club, a German organisation that claims to be Europe's largest group of hackers.

Making a point

To that end, the group has released what it calls the Freedom Stick, which is a USB drive loaded with software designed to accord anonymous web surfing to any computer.

The stick uses the famous TOR (The Onion Router) network to mask a computer's real IP address by redirecting internet traffic and thereby protecting the user from state snooping and allowing access to blocked websites.

At €20 (£15) the Freedom Stick is an expensive way to make what is essentially just a statement – the TOR software can be downloaded for free anyway – but anyone using a shared PC might find it an attractive option.