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China blocks tools used to bypass its "Great Firewall"

Excerpt of a 28 January 2015 CPJ Blog post by Tom Lowenthal, CPJ Staff Technologist.

In a move unlikely to surprise those who access the Internet from mainland China, the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently blocked several popular tools used to bypass the "Great Firewall" national Internet censorship system. Citing the need to protect "cyberspace sovereignty" and to "maintain cyber security and steady operation," the Ministry changed firewall rules to block three increasingly popular commercial virtual private network (VPN) services.

China operates the world's largest and most sophisticated Internet censorship infrastructure. Colloquially called the "Great Firewall," this infrastructure blocks a huge amount of content deemed contrary to China's interests as a nation. However, as with any such censorship infrastructure, people will try to access content despite the restrictions--creating a game of cat and mouse between censors, citizens, and online service providers.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • China's Great Cannon: New weapon to suppress free speech online

    But an April 10 report from Citizen Lab said a new strategy, and the software to support it, had recently come into use. Large-scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on at least two Web pages hosted outside China were "carried out by a separate offensive system, with different capabilities and design, that we term the 'Great Cannon'," the report said.

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