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The Great Firewall of China

the great firewall of China

The Great Firewall started since 2002

The name ‘Great Firewall of China’ came from an article written by a man called Charles R. Smith on May 17th 2002 about the internet censorship in China. It is another name for China’s national public network monitor system, also called GFW for short. GFW is a sub-function of China’s Golden Shield Project.

How the Great Firewall Works

The “Golden Shield Project” is a nationwide public security information project aiming at informationizing the public security work and setting up a quick responding coordination mechanism with unified command. The project mainly includes the construction of public security integrated service communication network, the general information system of public security, the public security command and dispatch system and national public network control center. The project became effective in 2003. The GFW mainly refers to the public network monitoring system, especially referring to the filtering of the sites, IP address, key words and address involving sensitive content.

The Effects of the Great Firewall

The effects of the GFW usually are that the home network users cannot access foreign websites or webpage; or the foreign network users cannot access some websites or webpage in China. There are usually two ways to do that. One is to completely block the IP address or DNS poisoning; the other is to temporarily disable access by sensitive keyword filtering (by sending TCP command). The two effects use two different ways of blocking. The former is more convenient and more widely used while the latter is only used in a minority of some designated site such as Google.

GFW—Result of National Security

National firewall is not only confined to China. Many countries such as the United States has their national network monitoring systems as well. For example, the US scans every email sending to or out of the country. Recently in an interview, when asked about the opinion towards China’s Great Firewall, the CEO of Tencent, Mr. Ma Huateng responded, ‘The internet is like a virtual world. Only with an orderly management, can the virtual world keep its sustainable development. Every country’s management of the internet is greatly of the concern of security, only defers in degrees. China is still developing, facing many new situations, so it is constantly making new rules. However, as a whole, the network management standards are the same to both domestic companies and international companies.

Stefanie for Daxue Market Research China