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Free Tools To Evade China's Web Censorship

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the just-in-case-you-are-curious dept.

The Internet 140

narramissic writes "The Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) offers a set of free tools that can be used to circumvent Chinese Internet censorship. The group claims approximately 1 million people in China use its tools to access the Internet. And, says Tao Wang, director of operations for GIFC, 'it's a very good time to remind Western reporters that there are such tools.'"

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Like they won't just block the site? (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24468121)

If the websense software on my workplace computer can block this site, I'm pretty sure the Chinese government can too.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (2, Insightful)

Oh no, it's Dixie (1332795) | about 6 years ago | (#24468181)

Hence why these are probably mirrored at many locations.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (5, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 6 years ago | (#24468197)

It's a good thing no one has developed a way for the same software to be hosted on more than one site. Imagine if we had that? We could call it a reflection... no wait, a silver-backed glass... no...

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (4, Interesting)

Daimanta (1140543) | about 6 years ago | (#24468493)

Call it silver-backing, that will be a smashing buzzword.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (3, Insightful)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | about 6 years ago | (#24469253)

Call it silver-backing, that will be a smashing buzzword.

Hmmm... "silver-backed backups" or simply "silver backups" actually would be a pretty cool name for the "process" described by this quote attributed to Linus Torvalds: [liw.iki.fi] "Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it."

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24469645)

What, is mirroring a tradmark of Dell, Inc now?

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470897)

Oh man... I'm patenting this right now! $$$

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (3, Informative)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | about 6 years ago | (#24468213)

I just sent this to a friend of mine who is currently working in China.

She said the same thing. Thanks! Shame I cant get there!

(currently trying to send her the info over proxy)

OT- your sig (1)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24469059)

The "four boxes in defense of liberty" are from a short story by Robert Hienlien. I don't know who Ed Howdershelt is, but I would disagree and put "ballot" before "soap".

Re:OT- your sig (1)

Philip Shaw (1337925) | about 6 years ago | (#24469939)

Since you only get to use the ballot box every n years, whereas you can use the soapbox straight away, the order seems correct to me. Furthermore, your ballot is secret in most places with any liberty to defend, and to get people to vote along with you, you need to use the soapbox first.

Re:OT- your sig (1)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | about 6 years ago | (#24470361)

I have never seen the quote attributed to RAH.

And I have read (and enjoyed) much of his work.

Do you know what story that would be from?

Re:OT- your sig (1)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24471115)

No, it's been a long time since I read the story; I remember the four bopxes, and that internal combustion engines were outlawed. I'll go through my old Heinlein books tonight and see if I can find it.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (4, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 6 years ago | (#24468263)

I'm pretty sure the Chinese government can too

I'm sure they can and they can't. It seems any time there is some sort of institutional effort to establish controls on the content delivered via the internet there are always a myriad of ways to circumvent any given system. The problem with a article like this is, we will all feel very good about ourselves, "See they have the tools! The people can take democracy into their own hands!". But I'm sure Chinese are just like Americans, if it just works, whats the fucking point? If what they connect to walks, talks and acts like the Internet and provides them with useful services. Where is the benefit for them to go out and find and use tools like this at the risk of being labeled as subversive? There are too many more pressing needs in place for some while the more well to do have many diversions to keep them occupied from exercises in futility such as this.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (2, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | about 6 years ago | (#24469185)

Well said.

Moreover, here are some tools that might land you in jail. Go for it!!! The fundamental problem being it's not their skin on the line. It reminds me of the long-ago rush to build feature-complete hospitals in developing nations that would stand empty because they couldn't afford the film for the x-ray machine, couldn't afford/find/train skilled workers, etc.

Like building feature-complete hospitals in developing nations, this project is a **total** waste of resources. Sure, they can feel good "sticking it to the man" that can't reach them, but when the feel-good moments are over, the net contribution is zero.

Grow a pair and do something for others that puts your skin on the line.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (4, Insightful)

severoon (536737) | about 6 years ago | (#24469659)

Well...I think perhaps you guys aren't respecting the full range of personalities out there. These tools aren't necessarily for everyone, I'm sure. They're for the Chinese citizens that: (a) feel they should be free to engage information as they like and/or (b) have information to share with the outside world that the Chinese govt may not want shared and (c) are willing to take the personal risk to engage their vision of the way things should be.

One of the things that I have found in my travels to China is that they do not regard their govt the same way we do (I'm assuming the parent and GP poster are Americans, b/c I'm American, and that's what we do :-) ). Chinese do not identify their country with their govt, they're two separate things. In the US, because our govt is supposed to have been founded on (and with the aegis to protect) the principles of the social contract of our country, we do not make a distinction. The Chinese attitude is, the country's been there long before this regime and will be there long after.

In the meantime, here are some tools to stir the pot a little. So what's wrong with that?

I will say this, though. It's not enough to have the tools. You also have to have the know-how to hide them properly. I suggest storing all of these apps on an encrypted partition. (I wonder if the Chinese govt blocks linux sites.)

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (1)

fmrbastien (1334213) | about 6 years ago | (#24471233)

Thus are you really like in these movies from hollywood? I thought that Americans in the real life made the difference between the government and the country.

I do not identify my country with my govt (I live in Belgium and I hope you'll never confuse these clowns with my country) and I think it's the same in a lot of countries in the world.

Now let's see the situation. Is the Chineese govt more restrictive on (digital) rights, or are our gvts more efficient to hide us the truth?

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470101)

> Grow a pair and do something for others that puts your skin on the line.

Why don't you do something at all, rather than whining on Slashdot?

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 6 years ago | (#24471811)

Grow a pair and do something for others that puts your skin on the line.

Like post on /. about how the efforts of others are worthless?

There's an old Chinese proverb that is mostly applicable to this situation. "The person who says it can't be done should get out of the way of the person doing it."

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 years ago | (#24468377)

Not only can the Chinese government block them, they can detect who is using them and declare them enemies of the People.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (3, Interesting)

Spikeman56 (543509) | about 6 years ago | (#24468733)

Yeah, but they don't. I'm surfing this right from behind the Great Chinese Firewall.

The Great Chinese Firewall recently has been quite erratic. Surprisingly searching for a lot of open source software will set off Google, and lock me out for a few minutes. Maybe it's got something to do with being 'free'

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#24470519)

I suspect it has less to do with freedom and more to do with the Olympics.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (2, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | about 6 years ago | (#24468833)

Well, some people could also download the tools before they go to China, right?

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468913)

The new way to block a site is to abusively register it as malware-ridden. Take a look at the results of a Google search on site:tibet.com (the Tibetan gov in exile)... http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atibet.com [google.com]

Pauvre Tibet (French) [discu.org]

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (1)

Philip Shaw (1337925) | about 6 years ago | (#24470133)

According to Google, there was malware in part of the site, hosted by ndl.com.tw. Google Safe Browsing for that domain says that they host malware found on 9 sites.

The malware report for tibet.com was made yesterday (2008/08/03), and was the only report in 90 days.

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470727)

I for one welcome our internet liberating overlords... that is of course if our Chinese internet blocking overlords don't kill me or imprison me first... asklmndklasksamffklxc.... help... ldsfjdspkg

Re:Like they won't just block the site? (2, Informative)

dave562 (969951) | about 6 years ago | (#24471749)

I'm pretty sure the point of the story is to get the reporters and other people who are visiting China for the olympics to download the software BEFORE they get to China.

consequences (1)

tritonman (998572) | about 6 years ago | (#24468167)

I predict a mass beheading coming soon for disobeyings DA GE

missing (4, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 6 years ago | (#24468179)

Tao Wang to go missing in 5..4..3...

Re:missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24469619)

It's always big news when a Wang goes missing.

Re:missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470221)

like the penis thefts in africa a few months back?

Re:missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470561)

Oh no! Parent disappeared before he could finish the countd

Re:missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470779)

To be replaced by Tao Dong

Tor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468211)

So how is this different to using Tor?

western reporters (5, Informative)

ebonum (830686) | about 6 years ago | (#24468231)

I doubt many western reports will have problems. If you work for a company of any size, the company has a VPN. You log into the company VPN. ( I promise you China does not block them. I live here. ) Once you are logged into your VPN, you surf where ever you want. Plus, it is encrypted - so no spying.

One problem that is not commonly discussed is what I call the "great American firewall". For better or worse, a lot of western sites block all requests from China. It is really annoying if you want to make a few online purchases and you aren't trying to hack their site. I should start to compile a list of specific examples.

Re:western reporters. Mod as Interesting (1)

mpapet (761907) | about 6 years ago | (#24469257)

I for one would be very interested in that list.

Re:western reporters (2, Insightful)

jank1887 (815982) | about 6 years ago | (#24469533)

spam'll do that.

also, the American side is a user driven firewall, not a govt imposed on.

Re:western reporters (1)

dword (735428) | about 6 years ago | (#24470259)

Your second paragraph also applies to Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and a few other countries. Took me ages to find a site that would allow me, after contacting them via email, to buy flowers on-line for a friend in the US. I currently live in Romania...

Re:western reporters (1)

bschorr (1316501) | about 6 years ago | (#24470393)

I'm a little surprised to hear that you're able to use your VPN because when I was in China last October it wouldn't connect mine. As soon as I got to South Korea my VPN worked fine, though.

I assumed the Chinese were blocking it; but perhaps they weren't.

Doesn't really make sense to me that a gov't so paranoid about what people do on the Internet would allow encrypted tunnels outside of their country, though.

Approximately (1)

corychristison (951993) | about 6 years ago | (#24468241)

The group claims approximately 1 million people in China use its tools to access the Internet

That's a really small demographic in comparison to the population there...

Are they being conservative or do they have factual numbers? That seems low to me.

No I didn't read the article.

Chinese Population (2, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 6 years ago | (#24468499)

There are 1,313,973,713 people in the PRC.
20.8% (male 145,461,833; female 128,445,739) are 14 years old or younger.
71.4% (male 482,439,115; female 455,960,489) are between 15 and 64 years old.
7.7% (male 48,562,635; female 53,103,902) are over 65 years old.

The population growth rate for 2006 is 0.59%.

The PRC officially recognizes 56 distinct ethnic groups, the largest of which are the Han Chinese, who constitute about 91.9% of the total population.
Large ethnic minorities include the Zhuang (16 million), Manchu (10 million), Hui (9 million), Miao (8 million), Uyghur (7 million), Yi (7 million), Tujia (5.75 million), Mongols (5 million), Tibetans (5 million), Buyei (3 million), and Koreans (2 million).

In the past decade, China's cities expanded at an average rate of 10% annually. The country's urbanization rate increased from 17.4% to 41.8% between 1978 and 2005, a scale unprecedented in human history. 80 to 120 million migrant workers work part-time in the major cities and return home to the countryside periodically with their earnings. Today, the People's Republic of China has dozens of major cities with one million or more long-term residents, including the three global cities of Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai.

Stopping censorship (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 6 years ago | (#24468243)

"It's a very good time remind Western reporters that there are such tools," said Tao Wang

I don't know. You get a couple hundred (or thousand) reporters getting censored while reporting on a very high-profile event? I think it would do more to call attention to China's policies. They'll talk for months about how hard it was for them to do their jobs and the freedoms they had to live without. If they use these tools, they'll go home afterward and forget all about the fact that they needed them at all.

Re:Stopping censorship (4, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | about 6 years ago | (#24468519)

Last time I let a Wang tell me what to do I became a father.

Re:Stopping censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468675)

End of thread. Game over.

Re:Stopping censorship (2, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | about 6 years ago | (#24468761)

You have a good point. Actually, truth be told, a majority of the reporters going over are probably your typical sports reporter. One or two may care enough about journalism to keep writing about the headaches, the rest are going to be enjoying some time in Beijing on the company credit card. But I'm cynical, maybe more would care enough to write about the hassles after the fact.

Evasion is good (2, Interesting)

dedazo (737510) | about 6 years ago | (#24468245)

That way you won't have to see the cute internet police [cnet.com] on your browser every 30 minutes.

Re:Evasion is good (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | about 6 years ago | (#24468545)

Chinese Internet Police or BonziBuddy [wikipedia.org] .. Hmm.. That's a tough call but I'll keep Clippy [visar.com] thanks.

Once Again, (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | about 6 years ago | (#24468281)

The internet interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it. Mirrors will pop up, new proxies will be enabled, people with the will can gain the knowledge they need to circumvent blockage.

You can't stop the signal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468347)

You can't stop that which is a reality in life.

Taxes
Death
Gospel
Nagging
Smiles
Dark Humor
Bad Beer

Re:You can't stop the signal! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24471003)

Masturbation
Twitter

oh boy (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | about 6 years ago | (#24468381)

Hopefully now we can use them to catch China "not censoring the internet" like they finally agreed they would. I'm sure there won't be ANY discrepency between access with and without one of those tools now and no international incidents will happen[/sarcasm]

Why circumvent? (2, Insightful)

cavis (1283146) | about 6 years ago | (#24468385)

I think that the major news outlet will play nice during the Olympics, reporting only State-approved news and events. However, when the Olympics are over and everyone goes home (free from the clutches of the Chinese government and their censorship), then the real reporting on China whill begin.

Working around the censors will be the quickest way to be detained in China for a long time.

Re:Why circumvent? (1)

boyfaceddog (788041) | about 6 years ago | (#24469677)

Not if the reporters ever want to go BACK to China, they won't.

Re:Why circumvent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470211)

Why do you think that? Do you think major media conglomerates -- multinationals if you're looking for inflamatory words -- are at all concerned with censorship, or, really, anything that doesn't contribute to selling ads?

OPEN LETTER TO CMDRTACO AND MODERATORS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468397)

to whom it may concern:

I like cheesy poofs

PLEASE BE CAREFUL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24469397)

it is good these tools are developed (2, Interesting)

ezh (707373) | about 6 years ago | (#24468451)

soon they will be needed here, in the western world, where instead of stopping you they just slow you down when you go in 'unwanted' direction. does not look there is too much difference to me. they do it for political reasons, we do it for business reasons. either way, people are restricted.

Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 6 years ago | (#24468455)

I predict insightful moderated posts about how people are going to be executed or "disappeared" for downloading some software, by people who have never left their own country before.

Yes there are many technical ways of circumventing the Chinese firewall or any other net censorship. The real issue here is that the vast majority won't use them because they can't be bothered, leading to widespread ignorance about issues that really need to be addressed.

The reason censorship works so well is because people are generally lazy, regardless of country or race and don't go hunting for information that isn't spoon fed to them.

So to summarize, the definition of success when it comes to censorship isn't that they stopped 100% of information getting though, but that they stopped it a little, combined with a disproportionate amount of easily digested propaganda leading to an impenetrable wall of ignorance that no little circumvention tools are going to help.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | about 6 years ago | (#24468813)

Its the ol' truth mixed with lies thing, and you are very right, it works too good. "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - MIB

Re:Here we go again... (1)

tor528 (896250) | about 6 years ago | (#24468867)

leading to a great wall of ignorance that no little circumvention tools are going to help.

Fixed that for you!

Re:Here we go again... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 years ago | (#24468935)

You mean, like the lazy masses that like to get their information/propaganda spoonfed to them without even noticing how their right to say (and even to listen to) what they want is eroding away, that make up the vast majority in other countries, too?

Re:Here we go again... (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 6 years ago | (#24470825)

I hear Fox news is quite popular here in the US.

Re:Here we go again... (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 6 years ago | (#24471167)

Nah, the rights are still there. It's just the corrupt media that abuses its position. The Western media is fully aware that it can influence elections and policy just by the choice of which stories it covers and which stories get ignored (Obama's Communist mentor would be the latest example). Living in China and viewing the officially censored media year after year gives you a real feel for what it's really like living with censorship. Then, you look at the US media, and they censor themselves as well, just with different objectives. In China, it's to maintain social cohesion at all costs, and promote the government as good guys who try really hard but sometimes fail. In America, the media is uncontrolled by the government, but nontheless its objective is societal engineering and the manipulation of elections. You should see the effect that running positive news about the country has on people...Chinese people think that China is doing all right. With the constant drumbeat of bad news about America, no wonder some Americans are down on their country. They even say things like "lazy masses" without even realizing that they have the opportunity to start their own media and say what they want freely. Here, forget it. You need to find a license and a censor to publish anything, and both of those are pretty darned hard to find.

Re:Here we go again... (3, Informative)

NuclearBovineBoy (877053) | about 6 years ago | (#24469369)

I've met some nontechnical (not at all CS, use Windows, though use computers for a living) 20- and 30-somethings in China -- they all know how to get around the Great Firewall, or at least know somebody who knows how to get around it. It's not something they worry much about, as long as they aren't generating politically sensitive content themselves. I haven't met any of the latter people.

Can we use them to circumwent out own censorship? (2, Interesting)

muuh-gnu (894733) | about 6 years ago | (#24468513)

Severe punishment of people who freely share information bites (1) which are deemed a threat to the functioning of the system (2) by the ruling classes is not only happening in China, you know...

So when is the Global Internet Freedom Consortium (GIFC) going to offer tools to circumwent our own capitalistic censorship machine? Or do they count censorship as such only if somebody else does it?

(1) aka "files"
(2) aka "intellectual property"

Re:Can we use them to circumwent out own censorshi (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 years ago | (#24469095)

It's actually more accurate than you may think. The US economy system is actually dependent on IP. If there is no censorship of IP being distributed freely, the system will not hold much longer. Censorship of freely distributed information is actually more in support of the so called free world than it is for China.

China is currently experiencing a huge economic growth. And a lot of people benefit from it. As you might know, from experience or history, most people put privacy and personal freedom secondary behind physical wellbeing and wealth. So it is actually not unlikely that people don't give a rat's behind about how the ruling elite keeps their power, as long as there's economic progress and a gain in personal wealth.

The US otoh have a huge economy problem when IP laws get ignored by large portions of the planet. IP revenue, from patents to copyright, make up a serious portion of their international trade. With widespread outsourcing, IP laws are the only thing that allows US companies to generate revenue from having others produce their goods abroad. With IP rights, content companies can cash in on the use of their content. If IP laws can be ignored, the US economy will suffer much more heavily than the Chinese government would from "radical" ideas entering the country.

Mod Parent Interesting (1)

mpapet (761907) | about 6 years ago | (#24469325)

Well said.

I posted a similar thought earlier only it used more words. Yours is better.

Re:Can we use them to circumwent out own censorshi (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 6 years ago | (#24470649)

Waaaaaaaaaaaah large corporations that put up the money to produce (movies|music|tv shows|games|etc.) get angry when we violate their copyright! Waaaaaaaaaaaaah they're suing me, call the Hague!

Go create your own fucking files. You don't -have- to share their works, and if you don't then they have ZERO leg to stand on.

Or you can continue to cry like a baby.

Carrier pigeons to be shot (2, Funny)

LM741N (258038) | about 6 years ago | (#24468561)

The IOC and the ISPCA are very worried about the Chinese government's plan to shoot down all pigeons as a means to prevent illegal communication to the outside word via carrier birds. Said Li Chung, a government representative- "We thought of putting a giant net over the whole province, but it would just enhance the perception of mass pollution in the area."

Re:Carrier pigeons to be shot (1)

faloi (738831) | about 6 years ago | (#24468825)

You didn't really think all the bird culling was because of Avian Influenza, did you?

Re:Carrier pigeons to be shot (1)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24468937)

Said Li Chung, a government representative

He's just an underling carrying out orders. His boss' name is Fow Kew.

Re:Carrier pigeons to be shot (2, Informative)

LeafOnTheWind (1066228) | about 6 years ago | (#24469569)

I know you were joking but in the Cultural Revolution of Communist China there was the Great Sparrow Campaign [wikipedia.org]

You can always provide tools for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468599)

You can always provide tools for people to break the law. P2P to get pirated software, weapons to kill people, drugs, etc. I don't think that makes it legal. If they have rules and regulations, most likely, when you break them, someone will come after you.

Not that they don't deserve to have access to everything, but it's their regulation and should be somehow respected as the rules and regulations of other countries. The US has a drug policy that the Netherlands would find intolerant, that doesn't give them any rights of providing tools to the people in the US to easily have access to drugs while in the US.

Re:You can always provide tools for... (2, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | about 6 years ago | (#24469285)

Not that they don't deserve to have access to everything, but it's their regulation and should be somehow respected as the rules and regulations of other countries. The US has a drug policy that the Netherlands would find intolerant, that doesn't give them any rights of providing tools to the people in the US to easily have access to drugs while in the US

Why not? Especially considering that our drug laws may well be unconstitutional, meaning the law is illegal. They had to pass a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw alcohol, why did they not have to amend it to outlaw other drugs?

Whether or not drug laws are constitutional, someone in the Netherlands is not under US law. It might be illegal for me to recieve tools to obtain drugs from someone in the Netherlands, but it would NOT be illegal fro him to provide them. He has every right to supply me with anything his country's laws allow, and I have every right to subvert Chinese law.

Re:You can always provide tools for... (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | about 6 years ago | (#24469621)

...from the outside. If you are inside and you try to subvert their laws, citizen or not, you're going to the pokey.

Will you be caught though? (5, Interesting)

derekw (962727) | about 6 years ago | (#24468671)

The big question is will you be caught circumventing the censorship.

From what I understand, it's not that hard to break through the censorship. But will you leave any tracks behind--however small--for the government to see? That's the big question.

If you just want to read one NYT article, go ahead and chances are nothing would happen to you. But if you plan on doing this day in day out, from your home connection, then a few months down the road you may get a knock on your door in the middle of the night.

Re:Will you be caught though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470227)

I doubt they'll bother to actually knock.

(hmm... Ironically enough my captcha is "sadists"!!)

How do these compare to TOR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468741)

I'm curious if anyone knows advantages / disadvantages of the products in this story as compared to TOR.

possible malware in download (4, Informative)

Aryeh Goretsky (129230) | about 6 years ago | (#24468763)

Hello,

My antivirus software said the "GIFC Anti-Censorship Tools Bundle" download from the Global Internet Freedom Consortium contained "probably a variant of Win32/Delf trojan."

I am not sure if this is a false positive alarm or a bona-fide infection, but you may want to exercise some caution before installing the software on your computer.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Re:possible malware in download (1)

dword (735428) | about 6 years ago | (#24470009)

Probably false positive :)
Most antiviruses complain about any form of proxy software.

Not a complete list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24468783)

Besides failing to mention TOR, which is a great program to lock up your router if your running it as a node, they fail to mention Psiphon [civisec.org] which I run on a file server here at home.

The very best thing about it, is that it requires NO software to be downloaded on the client side. The service acts as an encrypted proxy that is accessed with a web address and a login/password that you supply to the user.

ob Red Dawn (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | about 6 years ago | (#24468803)

A million screamin chinamen use these tools to access the internet?

"Last I heard, there were a billion screamin chinamen."

(Pours coffee in fire.)

"There were!"

Company VPN or SSH (or RDC?) (1)

tecker (793737) | about 6 years ago | (#24468839)

I have a feeling that if companies are really worried about their people getting blocked they will simply setup a spare computer in their offices and then use that as a VPN or SSH server.

Does china block RDC connections? This would be the best way I think. Just RDC over a SSH tunnel. This would allow you to actually operate a computer stateside and not behind their firewall. Plus you would not have sensitive files floating around.

Introduction to Chinaâ(TM)s Laogai (2, Interesting)

not_hylas( ) (703994) | about 6 years ago | (#24468901)

Introduction to China's Laogai:

Up to 30,000 "Internet Police" monitoring your every move.

"The Laogai institution known as laodong jiaoyang --- commonly abbreviated as
"Laojiao" - also serves as a tool for the Chinese Communist Party in its constant efforts to silence critics and punish political criminals without having to bother with investigations and legal proceedings."

"There is an end to Laogai, but Jiuye (forced job placement) is forever"

      " In 1979 and 1980, many jiuye renyuan or âforced-job-placement-personnel" who had completed their sentences but were still forced to labor within the Laogai camps under a policy that denied their release, were finally allowed to return to their homes. Previous to this change in practice, upwards of 90 percent of all Laogai and Laojiao prisoners remained in detention indefinitely under this Jiuye policy even after they had completed their sentences.

"There used to be a saying in the labor camps: "There is an end to Laogai, but Jiuye is forever.""

Laogai:

http://www.laogai.org/hdbook/hb_intro.htm

http://www.laogai.org/news/index.php

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/library/index.php?main_page=product_video_info&products_id=280233-6

Think "Soviet Gulag".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag

Can't happen here?

Ex Machina:

https://tagmeme.com/exmachina/a/002450.html

Has anyone used JAP? (2, Informative)

junner518 (1235322) | about 6 years ago | (#24469093)

JAP is a free java based anonymizer. It runs as a sort of "proxy" as in you route your internet traffic through a localhost port, but it sends out your data through two or more "mixes" which anonymize your connection. It successfully masks your IP, your location, and most importantly your identity. Its relatively fast for the obvious latency problems that are bound to happen.
JAP [tu-dresden.de]

Legal (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | about 6 years ago | (#24469137)

Is it legal, in China, to use such tools, or any other tool to circumvent the Great Firewall?

Bypassing censorship? (1)

ADRenalyn (598918) | about 6 years ago | (#24469207)

Does this mean that I will be able to see through the pixelation of the "naughty bits" on yuvutu.com?

Hand Fed Reporters won't know Sh|t (1)

Republican Gun (1174953) | about 6 years ago | (#24469241)

'it's a very good time remind Western reporters that there are such tools.'" Too bad the reporters only know what is hand fed to them.

Hypocrisy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24469461)

Americans are ready to be "revolutionary" when it is about fucking up another country. When it gets to doing something about the fascism radiating from their own country they suck Bush balls.

This thing blocks P*rn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24469703)

UltraSurf blocks P*rn!

That's worse than the China's Goverment.

Bastards.

At least Chinese Censorship is Obvious (4, Insightful)

MrSteveSD (801820) | about 6 years ago | (#24470003)

With this kind of blatant State censorship, at least people know they are being censored. People in the west are in some ways not so fortunate.

Czech dissident writer Zdenek Urbanek once said...

In one respect, we are luckier than you in the free west, because we have learnt to read between the lines, and you believe you have no need; but you do.

George Orwell recognized that western media operates on self-censorship way back in the 40s. He wrote a preface to Animal farm all about it, but the preface itself was censored and never published. Amongst other things, he said...

The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. ... [Things are] kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that 'it wouldn't do' to mention that particular fact

For example, if you read the BBC online, you probably know that Hugo Chavez shook the Spanish King's hand recently after their previous spat. Hardly Earth shattering news. Yet you probably won't be aware that Colombian President Alavaro Uribe is under investigation for possible involvement in the planning of a massacre by right wing paramilitaries. The general trend is that bad stories about allies are either ignored or only reported in passing, whereas those about official enemies such as Chavez are accentuated and repeated ad infinitum.

Anyone interested in censorship in the western media should read "Manufacturing Consent" by Hermann and Chomsky, or watch the documentary on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wksCW3ooJ5A [youtube.com]

Re:At least Chinese Censorship is Obvious (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | about 6 years ago | (#24470877)

With this kind of blatant State censorship, at least people know they are being censored.

I wouldn't be so sure. The main-things they are censoring are hardcore-pornography, kiddie-porn and 'risks to social stability'.

Guess which one is important. And guess what people will grow to think of it when it's always grouped with kiddie-porn. It's kinda like trying to sell a car with Hitler posing on the hood. It's not subtle, but people still wont buy the car.

Re:At least Chinese Censorship is Obvious (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 6 years ago | (#24470905)

The most effective way to control over people is to make them think their are in control of themselves.

If if smells like product placement... (1)

slymole (451208) | about 6 years ago | (#24470095)

..it's because it is; Slashdot's editorial standards must be at an all time low. Censorship & monitoring evasion tools abound, both in the proprietary & open source world, and it makes a hell of a lot more sense to use open source solutions, especially if you're worried about ending up in prison for speaking your mind.

Tool aren't enough (1)

rtechie (244489) | about 6 years ago | (#24470177)

The tools will help Western journalist reporting from Beijing, but they really won't do all that much for Chinese dissidents that are under state surveillance and face the constant threat of imprisonment, torture, and death.

The West needs to start cracking down the the Chinese, starting with the media. You want our money? Then mainland Chinese must have uncensored access to Western media. Media is the US' major export, buy blocking and stealing Western media the Chinese are furthering the trade imbalance and it should no longer be tolerated.

We should remind reporters ... (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | about 6 years ago | (#24470179)

... that they are guests while in China, and should obey Chinese laws while there. They should also try to behave like proper representatives of their respective country, just as the (mostly non-political) athletes are doing.

I'm a fan of freedom, but before we run around and tell every other country how to do it, we should make sure we aren't hypocrites in the process. Whether that's Guantanamo, DC gun laws, seizing laptops by customs, illegal wire taps, a limited immigration policy that creates the illegal immigrant demand, etc, we have lots of examples of not practicing what we preach. Before we go around telling China everything they are doing wrong, perhaps we should offer automatic citizenship for anyone that wants to leave their "oppressive government" for the US?

not a bad idea, except... (1)

iveygman (1303733) | about 6 years ago | (#24470265)

Now that the Chinese censors can catch wind of this, can't they just take preventative countermeasures against this thing?

Or... (1)

jav1231 (539129) | about 6 years ago | (#24470513)

'it's a very good time remind Western reporters that there are such tools.'

As opposed to telling China's oppressive regime to go pound sand, we're not sending our athletes to China you miserable fucks!?

Open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24470721)

None of the software on that website is open source.
It might as well be backdoored.

Better use open source stuff such as Tor.
* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network) [wikipedia.org]

Death on wheels (1)

gd23ka (324741) | about 6 years ago | (#24470863)

A million criminals?? Phew... I'm sure they're piling on the miles on their execution vans.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/HG21Ad01.html [atimes.com]

Scumbags run our country, scumbags run their country.

Additional information (1)

weiqj (870224) | about 6 years ago | (#24471343)

As a Chinese I don't like the information control by Chinese government. But nothing is worse than mind manipulation. That Tao Wang is working for a Chinese cult group Falun Gong. So this project is back by a special interest group with strong political agenda. http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2008/8/3/99490.html [clearwisdom.net]
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