"Insomnia" - DW campaign promotes freedom and human rights

With a new short film, Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle highlights what keeps autocrats up at night: a free and independent press

For more than 50 years, DW has supported unbiased information and democratic values in over 180 countries worldwide. A working, independent press plays a major role in countries where people and the press are silenced or censored. DW hopes that its new short film and the accompanying campaign will draw attention to this issue and its consequences.


DW strives to cover the complex issues surrounding free speech and media freedom by shedding light on crises, victims of human rights violations and initiatives striving to improve the current situation and fosters a greater debate on these issues.

More people around the world than ever before can easily communicate and access information. But it is easy to forget that there are many places where people who publish dissenting thought are punished and the free flow information is blocked. DW has made fighting censorship a core principle and works consistently to provide people everywhere with the information they need to understand problems and issues affecting their societies.

In many countries, government control of infrastructure can lead to information being censored or cut off all together. That’s why DW has always worked to provide solutions to circumvent censorship and provide information to the people. For example, people in countries whose governments block or restrict access to independent news can now access DW content securely and anonymously with the support of the OTF (Open Technology Fund) and the Tor Project. DW has installed a mirror proxy that will allow dw.com's web content to be accessed through a web address in the Tor network.

Websites accessible through Tor (The Onion Routing) can be recognized by the extension '.onion.' A special browser such as the Firefox-based Tor browser is necessary in order to gain access to the websites. Besides Deutsche Welle, so far only a few media websites such as those of the New York Times and the BBC offer an onion address.

Over the past decade, DW has also been utilizing a censorship circumvention system called Psiphon, which works by using a network of different proxy servers (an intermediary between a user and an online source). With this technology, users in countries like China and Iran have been given the power to access unbiased information from reliable sources.

By engaging in this technology, we have sent a message: DW will never give up trying to promote a free Internetand provide unbiased, quality news and information to ALL audiences around the world.

More information about DW’s mission to provide unbiased information and what they are doing to promote freedom of speech can be viewed at - https://freespeech.dw.com