Help the people in Iran and Russia
to access uncensored internet


The Iranian Liberation Revolution and Putin's aggressive war are each accompanied by powerful national internet censorship. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are already blocked, more services are likely to follow. Since all critical media are now banned in Russia and none existed in Iran, internet services are a last way to get independent information, to organize and also to report on the local situation to the rest of the world. Only in this way is an effective opposition and active civil society still possible.

For a period of time, people in Iran and Russia were able to use digital tools to bypass internet censorship. They used so-called VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) or anti-censorship software called Tor Browser. Unfortunately, the respective dictators have upgraded the Internet censorship systems since the beginning of the war or since the beginning of the revolution, so that these digital "tools of freedom" no longer work easily. But now there is a new approach to circumvent internet censorship. Everyone here in Germany can help with this, without great technical skills. A web browser with internet access is sufficient.

Help others


How to help from outside of Iran or Russia

Although the censorship systems directly block Facebook and other websites, it is still possible to access them via an indirect connection. For this to work an intermediate network node is needed to pass on internet traffic and the more of such intermediate stations there are, the harder it is for Iranian and Russian internet censors to block all of them.

With the new approach called Tor-Snowflake is it possible to turn a normal web browser into such an intermediate station. It's very simple and safe, but very helpful for the people of Iran and Russia. You can continue to use your browser as usual while you provide the people there with an extremely important good: uncensored access to the internet! The more people help here in Germany (or in other countries with free internet), the better the whole thing works in Iran and Russia. There are two ways to participate:

  • Install the Snowflake add-on to your browser (for Google Chrome, for Firefox, for Safari). The add-on takes care of everything in the background:
  • Install in Firefox Install in Chrome Install in Safari

  • You can also open a special website that gives your browser these capabilities. Go to such website and activate the snowflake function there. However, this only works as long as you keep that website open in a tab. This link will take you to such a website.

Frequently asked questions / FAQ

Is running Snowflake dangerous for me/my network/my computer?
No, because the data that flows through your Snowflake into the Tor network is encrypted directly for the Tor network, so your browser cannot read this data, be hacked by it, or be held responsible for it.

Is there any cost to operate Snowflake?
Running Snowflake as an addon or in the browser tab itself is free. It creates only internet traffic. With a flat rate at home, that's not a problem and it's not a large amount of data either.

Can Snowflake also be used on smartphones?
Yes, with the Tor app "Orbot" you can also run a mobile Snowflake. Simply activate it under "Settings" -> "Run Snowflake Proxy". Here is the app from the Google Playstore, (soon) from Apple's Appstore and via F-Droid. If you are not in a wireless network, Snowflake will use your mobile data volume, but it is not much anyway.

Is the Snowflake addon also available for Safari, Opera or other browsers?
Unfortunately not, but you can run Snowflake in a browser tab as described above, but you have to leave the tab open for it to work.

Can Snowflake also be run directly on a server?
Yes, a standalone Snowflake can also be run via Docker, see the documentation here.

Can I help you in any other way?
Yes, you can support us with donations or become a member directly.



Access the free internet from inside of Iran/Russia

If you are in Iran, Russia or in another country that restricts free access to the internet, you can use the TorBrowser to reach out. You can download it here. After downloading make sure to enable "Snowflake": When running Tor Browser for desktop for the first time, you can click on 'Tor Network Settings' on the start-up screen and then select 'Use a bridge'. Click on 'Select a built-in bridge' and choose 'snowflake' from the drop down menu. Once you've selected Snowflake, scroll up and click 'Connect' to save your settings.

TorBrowser is available for all common operating systems. Please be aware that you should be cautious regarding your browsing behavior. Certain behaviors may enable other parties to de-anonomize you. For further information make sure to read the Tor FAQ.

Further information


For in-depth research

  • You want to know more about how the Tor-network works? This video is a good introduction
  • You want to know more abour Tor snowflake and the technical details? You can read a general overview or the technical documentation.
  • You want to know more about surfing anonymously? Start learning with this series of videos: „series of videos“ by Alexander Lehmann.
  • You want to communicate safely and securely? Check out the messengers Signal and Threema - both available for Android and Apple iOS. Do not use Telegram - it is not considered safe and secure and might be dangerous to use in the current situation.
  • You are looking for independent media in Russian? Have a look at „Meduza“ - a dual language newspaper that had to leave Russia but continues reporting from Latvia.

The Forum Computer Scientists for Peace
and Societal Responisbility (FIfF) e. V.


Since 1984

The Forum Computer Scientists for Peace and Societal Responisbility (German: Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung – FIfF) is a Germany-wide association of about 700 individuals who critically examine the effects of using of computers and information technology within the digital society. Our members work predominantly in IT-related professions, from IT systems electronics engineers to professors of theoretical computer science. Since 1984, the FIfF has been working towards a reflected use of information technology for the benefit of society in technical and non-technical areas. We pursue our goals via e. g. public discourse, political consulting or the development of technical studies. In addition, the FIfF publishes the quarterly "FIfF-Kommunikation - Journal for computer science and society" and cooperates with other civil rights organisations and the peace movement. If you want to know more about us, have a look at our introductory brochure) (German only).



Contact us

Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung e. V.
Goetheplatz 4
28203 Bremen


+49 (0) 421 - 33 65 92 55


Reponsible: Rainer Rehak

Data Protection Statement