What is China’s Great Firewall?
- China’s government is keen on maintaining what it calls “internet sovereignty”. In reality, this basically means running the world’s most advanced internet censorship regime.
- It does this for all the usual reasons: to control its message, maintain social order, shape public opinion, and to shut down criticism of the government and state organizations.
- Dating back to the early 2000s, China’s internet information security strategy is known as the Golden Shield Project. The so-called Great Firewall of China is a key part of this strategy.
- The Great Firewall consists of a variety of tools and tricks designed to control internet access. A few examples include:
- IP Access blocking: blanket bans on access to certain IPs.
- URL filtering: e.g. while you may be able to access Wikipedia, you won’t be able to look at those Wiki pages deemed sensitive.
- Packet inspection: the ability to identify, filter and block unencrypted data packets (e.g. those which include blacklisted keywords).
- Connection resetting: this goes hand-in-hand with packet inspection. When a suspicious packet is detected, authorities can send a ‘reset packet’, breaking up the connection between both computers involved in the communication.