China's Internet censorship, easily defeated
At Cambridge University, computer-security researcher Richard Clayton has found a way to defeat the fearsome Great Firewall of China: Just ignore it. The Great Firewall, a system of routers and other network equipment that lets China's rulers censor the Internet, blocks Web pages with objectionable terms like "Falun Gong" and "democracy." China's online censorship regime has had a massive impact on the Internet, forcing Google to compromise its principles to gain access to the Chinese market.
But Clayton has found that the Great Firewall may not be any more successful than the real Great Wall in keeping out foreign influences. In order to efficiently censor the entire Internet, the Firewall's routers don't actually block Internet traffic. That would require many more machines than China has installed, and slow down Internet access for the entire country. Instead, China's routers, when they detect an objectionable word or phrase, send a signal to the Internet user's computer that makes it think the original Web server has stopped responding to the request to download a page. Clayton found that these fake requests are easy to distinguish from real ones, and that by updating their Internet software to ignore them, Chinese Internet users can surf any page they want.
Last year, some shareholders criticized Cisco for its involvement in building China's censorship systems. Maybe they should be scolding Cisco for building shoddy, easily defeated software instead.
What do you think? Will China's Great Firewall withstand this crafty assault from abroad?
Chinese government censorship is China's internal affair and if there needs to be a resistance it should should be from within. Any outsider does not a have a right to interfere.
Just the way we don't like outsiders to interfere in our lives, we should respect outsider's rights and lives the way they choose it to be.
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