My jouney of bypassing the Great firewall of China

Because of the strict censorship China imposes on the Internet, many domain names are censored in china and people in China cannot view these websites. I didn't realise the restrictions until I had a 3-week trip to China.

I heard the term 'Bypassing the Wall' from my father, an old man in his 70s who is very interested in all sorts of news, esp. censored news, though he doesn't know how to surf the Internet. 'The Wall' obviously means the Great firewall of China. 'Bypassing the Wall' is using proxy servers outside the firewall to browse blocked sites. It is not difficult to bypass the Wall for those determined to do so.

The websites that I use frequently in UK such as blogspot and youtube are blocked. I was very annoyed when I tried to show my baby's album on google picasa to my friend I found that it was blocked too. My friend ran a program called 'Freegate' to bypass the Wall and finally saw the album. He told me that Freegate was somehow related to FaLunGong and it was very difficult to find downloads.

This was true. When I went to my sister's house and wanted to show her my children's photos, I googled 'Freegate'. Every link to a download is blocked! I then searched 'bypassing the Wall' and found a tool called 'Puff'. It worked well just like Freegate.

Interestingly, most ordinary Chinese people, just like my sister and brother-in-law, don't feel the restrictions as much as I did during the trip. Probably because when you were born in a jail and live all your life in it, you don't even realise that you were in a jail if it's big enough.

However, there are still many people in China who are determined to see the world outside and have full access to knowledge and information they wish.


PP: I posted this article in Chinese language on a forum in China, it was deleted within a couple of minutes before anybody sees it. I regret that I haven't kept a copy on my local machine. I decide to write it again in English and publish on Blogspot which is safe from Chinese government's censorship. The downside is that not many Chinese people will see this and be able to read it.

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