Is China's "Great Firewall" a Fraud?
Now, it may not be an actual "Firewall" in the strictest sense but "The Great NetNanny of China" doesn't have the same ring. Like another poster said, it seems to work via reset packets. I'm not networking expert, I just know I get a lot of "connection reset" error messages.
The problem with the Firewall isn't what it blocks, but it's HOW it blocks...the sporadic, chaotic nature. I've been here for two years. When I arrived, LiveJournal (which I was using to keep in touch with friends) was fine. In October of last year, it got blocked. It remains so. Wikipedia has been blocked and unblocked SEVERAL times. As ShanghaiBill said, there are proxies, but THOSE sometimes get blocked. And it's NOT just porn or "politically objectionable" material that's being blocked. There was a "computer help" call-in radio show I used to listen to, but THEIR site was blocked. All manner of sites that have NO political, pornographic or otherwise "controversial" information are blocked for reasons unknown.
Another prime example is Google News. The HOME page often opens just fine, but if you try to click a link to follow one of the stories ON the home page? "Connection reset". I'll often get the same thing when trying to SEARCH from Google News. SOMETIMES it works, but you never really know WHEN it will and when it won't.
That's the big problem with it for me, the fact that you never know from one day to the next WHAT'S going to be accessible and what won't be.
I mention this not to complain, but to point out that any thoughts of "There IS no Great Firewall" are foolish. Like I said, it may not meet the strict technical definition of "firewall" because it doesn't do all of it's filtering 'at the edge', but the truth is MOST people not on Slashdot have NO idea how a firewall works. They just know it's supposed to BLOCK stuff. That's the case in China. The internet IS censored here MUCH more than it is in the US and many other countries I've heard from.