How to get around the Wikipedia blackout

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
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@gcluley

If you visit the English-language version of Wikipedia today you’ll see this:

Wikipedia blackout

As has been widely reported, Wikipedia is one of a number of high profile websites which is shutting its doors today in protest at US anti-piracy moves.

That’s bad news if you’re a student hoping to use your usual trick of scouring Wikipedia for cut-and-paste into your homework. :)

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But don’t fear, there’s an easy way to access Wikipedia.

Wikipedia’s blackout is achieved using some JavaScript. So, all you need is a trusty copy of the Firefox web browser and the popular NoScript add-on.

NoScript option

Simply disable scripts on wikipedia.org and wikimedia.org and..

Wikipedia is accessible

Bingo!

Of course, NoScript isn’t just useful for accessing Wikipedia. It’s also tremendously useful for helping you decide which websites you trust to run scripts – helping prevent malicious scripts and malware from infecting your computer.

Update: Some readers have left comments concerned that I have not explained to casual visitors what SOPA/PIPA is, why some internet users are up in arms about it, or the reason for the blackouts. We’ve covered the topic a few times before on Naked Security, but you can also find out more on the Stop American Censorship website.


Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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