A GROUP OF WEB DEVELOPERS have come out with a way for surfers to get around the paywall restrictions increasingly used by newspaper websites like the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Breakthepaywall is a free add-on for Internet Explorer that is designed to work on websites that allow surfers to view free content, but only for a specific amount of times before asking you to register and/or pay for more content.
The add-on works by combining the two main methods to circumvent paywalls, deleting persistent and session cookies, and changing the referrer header of your request. Deleting cookies is necessary so that your usage of a website is not tracked and you aren't kept logged on.
The developers made it clear that this method cannot be used to get past subscription-only websites, and that it did not use compromised or stolen usernames or passwords to pass the pay wall.
Getting around a news paywall like this is currently quite simple. All you need to do is to manually delete the cookies, but this add-on simply makes it easier.
The Internet Explorer version can be downloaded now. The site says that Firefox version is coming soon, so we contacted the developers to find out when it might be available, but oddly the email given didn’t work, perhaps indicating that they didn't want to be the focus of attention.
It also shows that ever-changing technology may make media mogul Rupert Murdoch's plans to get his news websites to charge for news unworkable.
Rather angry that his empire has made losses due to 'the Google effect', he declared that he would try to end the online news free-for-all by getting his websites to charge for their content. µ
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