Feb 25 2008

The Atlantic on the Great Firewall

Published by at 4:34 pm under Censorship

The Atlantic has a great article on the Great Firewall of China (GFW).  It is full of technical details about the central component of Internet censorship in China.  The article discusses some of the censorship countermeasures such as proxy servers and VPN and suggests that the PRC government only has to make it difficult, not impossible.  The majority of users can’t be bothered to use a proxy so they stick with the sanitized official news sources.

One thing that I have found in my own research is that internal/domestic censorship is handled primarily by content providers themselves, not by the government.  There isn’t any official guidance on what should be censored on portals and boards (“bars”) so it is left up to the provider, who may be overly cautious in order to avoid trouble.  I have read that there are periodic meetings between propaganda representatives and the official content providers in order to inform them of what issues should be avoided and which stories should be prominently displayed.  This leaves those within the PRC who are not willing to use proxies with an unbalanced view of current events.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “The Atlantic on the Great Firewall”

  1. Heikeon 25 Feb 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Plus, it can be used as a verb, which is really cool. According to our guest hacker:

    Your website has been GFWed.


  2. Shanghai Web Hostingon 29 Feb 2008 at 3:39 am

    Strangely enough proxy sites seem not to be blocked. I have been using http://www.proxy4china.com from Shanghai without problems for months

  3. jumperon 29 Feb 2008 at 8:08 am

    Only certain types of proxies are blocked. I’ve heard that dynaweb and ultrasurf both get blocked occasionally but both of those have been used to reach this site. TOR isn’t blocked in China either.

    Strangely enough, there are many TOR exit nodes inside China which I find odd. Who would want to exit in a country that censors the Internet? Probably to collect usernames/passwords and whatever else might be useful to the operator.

  4. Jeffon 29 May 2009 at 3:39 pm

    China firewall is lame, use water to put out the fire of the wall but how do you get over the wall? – use Freedur.com to bypass it. You can bypass China Great Firewall and access youtube, facebook, blogger and all other sites which are blocked.