Ruan Yifeng's Complaint
(Ruan Yifeng's blog) Methods of bypassing the Great Firewall of China. November 19, 2007.
Yesterday, Atlantic Monthly's China correspondent James Fallows announced happily on his blog that he can finally break the filtering of the Great Firewall of China and visit websites that not possible hitherto. He said that this was the best US$39.99 that he spent in China.
His method is to purchase a Personal VPN servce from witopia.net at an annual fee of US$ 39.99. According to the information offered in his blog, this service is reasonably fast inside China and is an effective method of getting around the Great Firewall of China.
VPN means Virtual Personal Network and this can be interpreted as "encrypted communication." The principle behind why VPN can bypass the Great Firewall is that it provides a secured link with a server outside China and that server will visit the websites and return the information in encrypted form back to the user. That is how the filtered websites can now be viewed.
I feel that US$ 39.99 is inexpensive, and this is an acceptable approach. Furthermore, there are many free VPN's on the Internet and you may be able to find a free means.
Apart from this method, I can think of three more methods that can beat the filtering by the Great Firewall. The principles are more or less the same and I will not provide the details here. You can get on the Internet and find out yourself.
(1) Use a secured https proxy
(2) Use Tor
(3) Use the SSH tunnel technology (see these instructions translated by Che Dong)
Finally, I want to discuss my thoughts about the Great Firewall of China.
Previously, I always thought that it is impossible to interfere with the flow of information on the Internet because there will always be ways of breaking through the filtering. But I am not as optimistic right now. Last week when I was dining with my friend, I said that the Great Firewall may just be able to achieve the goal of censoring the Internet.
Sometime last month, many friends found out that when they tried to access certain overseas websites, they were sometimes automatically bounced to the Baidu page. Although things recovered to normalcy quickly, this incident proved that large-scale DNS hijacking exists in China. That is to say, China Telecom has a way of controlling the pointer of a domain name. Some netizens have advocated the use of Open DNS in order to avoid this possibility. But OpenDNS itself may be hijacked or filtered, so this is not a totally effective method.
I am thinking that all domain names inside China will have to be registered. That means that there will be a "white list" such that all those domain names not on this list are banned. What happens then? ...
(Ruan Yifeng's blog) Someone reported me. November 29, 2007.
I just found out today that someone had just reported my <Methods of bypassing the Great Firewall of China> to the China Internet Illegal and Harmful Information Reporting Center.
I cannot help but say: Fuck, what a stupid jerk! No wonder someone said: When there is a shameless, disgusting government, there will necessarily be shameless, disgusting people.
Baidu has already filtered me. It is a matter of time when government filtering occurs. I harbor no illusions.
I forgot to say that when a server supports secured links, it is possible to access the website by changing "http" to "https" if the IP address is not blocked. For example, my website would be accessed through https://www.ruanyifeng.com/blog. If the IP address is blocked, then one can subscribe to Feed——http://feeds.feedburner.com/ruanyifeng. You can read my future essays via Google Reader or email subscription.
The person who reported me has an IP address inside the Dongfeng Motor Group Company Limited in Shiyan city, Hubei province.
I don't understand why kind of person this is! I don't know you and I have no conflict of interest with you. You did not have to spend a cent to read what I wrote, but you went ahead and denounced me to the government and you wanted the government to deal with me!
Here, I want to tell you: Do not think that I cannot track me down If something serious should ever happen to me, I will go and look you up in Hubei and then I will publish your name and photograph on the Internet and expose you.
People like you are like the cold and indifferent politicians and the accomplices of the government that Lu Xun wrote about. It is the existence of people like you that makes people despair about this country.