Alkasir is the English transliteration of الكاسر, which is the Arabic word for ‘the circumventor’ or ‘the breaker’ as a way to metaphorically signal its main task of breaking through digital firewalls and allowing users access to blocked websites.
It was originally developed by Walid Al-Saqaf, a Yemeni software developer who had been subjected to censorship himself and decided to start a movement to confront and map censorship in the Arab world, which explains the source of its naming.
Today however, Alkasir allows users around the world to circumvent (bypass) censorship of URLs and simultaneously, helps keep track of patterns of URL blocking. It is predominantly used by persons in countries where there is censorship of political content such as news, opinion articles, blog entries, forum discussions, political videos, etc., but can also be used in any other country.
The first version of Alkasir was launched in May 2009 as a Windows close-source application and ever since, it has grown and expanded in its new generation Alkasir 2.0 to become an open-source multi-platform solution that can work on MS Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Unlike those of conventional circumvention tools, alkasir's servers are quicker in response and transfer time because they are only activated for blocked websites. Furthermore, the servers are optimized to ensure that even if a request to a website on the server was sent by some sort of error, this request gets dropped at the server side of the circumvention process. Overall, this reduces the burden on alkasir's proxy servers as they will have plenty of time to serve a much larger number of users with fewer resources compared to conventional circumvention tools.
One of the unique features of alkasir is its ability to keep you informed about which URLs are still blocked and which are not. The automatic update built-in feature of alkasir makes allows it to track if any previously blocked URLs have been unblocked and removes it automatically from its database locally on the computer and on the database. Hence, it serves as a source of information about censorship patterns.