In 1998 the Chinese Ministry of Public Security started a Golden Shield Project in order to censure and monitor all online activity in China and beyond its borders. The government has implemented several reformations accessing the Internet and devised the Great Firewall maintaining public security of information technology. For the last 10 years, the control system has grown in unprecedented scale disabled access to international projects valued at billions of dollars.
According to the official legislation, all websites based on China can’t mention and publish data adapted from foreign new sites or media sources without special approval. Media websites registered in the list of licensed print publishers have a right sharing news; all other resources can submit info released by authorized mass media organizations.
All internet providers store duplicated records for 60 days and have to convey it to the governmental authorities immediately upon request. The law obliges ISPs to restrict publishing information and block websites violated legal regulations.
The Great Chinese Firewall uses various methods blocking an access to internet resources, such as:
- IP blocking restricts access to the host at the following URL. If the server explodes shared hosting, then access will be locked for all hosting sites.
- DNS filtering and redirection process does not resolve domain names and returns incorrect IP.
- URL filtering disables a request over URL or by URL keywords.
- Packet filtering interrupts TCP packages transmission by founded keywords and obstructs following connection attempts.
- Connection reset suppresses for 30 seconds all resource connections attempted after repeated requests to a blocked resource.
- SSL man-in-the-middle-attack is a method of communicating channel compromise supposing hacker intervention in the transmission protocol removing or falsifying information.
- Active IP probing explores the net in pursuit of restricted info support by non-public IP addresses.
- VPN/SSH traffic recognition defines incoming data and will cut encrypted tunnel if a served company has no neccessary licence from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
- Technologies used by China provide resistance to different bypassing systems as TOR, I2P and VPN.
Forced blocking of massive informational channels creates an informational vacuum in China freeing space for thousands of small subject websites. For another thing, science-based websites and portals related to the right to free speech are prohibited too.
To prohibited websites are referred:
- resources with politically incorrect content (for example, topics associated with criticism of the Chinese Communist Party);
- resources with spreading criticism towards the political regime at the users’ side;
- sites and portals related to free speech propaganda;
- sexually explicit websites;
- and any other web resources dissatisfying Chinese legislation.
The list of popular services and websites blocked by the Great Firewall of China:
- Social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Google Hangouts, Google BlogSpot, WordPress.com, TalkBox, some pages of Tumblr, SoundCloud, Twitpic etc.
- News media: New York Times, Bloomberg, BBC Chinese, Google News, YouTube, Vimeo, different articles from Wikipedia, WikiLeaks.
- Search services: Google, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, Yahoo.
- Online tools: Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, SlideShare, iStockPhoto, Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail, Google Translate, Google Calendar, Google Groups, Google Keep, Google Play, Google Picasa, Change.org, The Pirate Bay, OpenVPN.