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Print 42 comment(s) - last by Creche.. on Jul 7 at 3:01 PM

Censorship continues to be a big concern for China

A group of computer experts from the University of Cambridge claims that they are now able to circumvent the censorship mechanism that China uses to block unwanted content from reaching its citizens. Certain words are banned and certain websites are also banned. A user sitting within the country's network will not be able to reach websites for which the government has deemed inappropriate. China itself has defended its right to police the Internet for its citizens many times.

The group of researchers say that China's firewall is based on a a series of Cisco routers and the products work by censoring keywords. When a user wishes to access a websites that's banned, the router returns reset packets to the foreign website, severing the connection -- the data transmission is stopped at the foreign end-point. Using this bit of information on how the Cisco routers work, the researchers were able to find their way around the firewall by creating a system that ignores the reset packets sent by the Chinese routers.

Along with their discovery, the researchers also found that it was possible to create a denial-of-service (DoS) attack from within the firewall using the router's own blocking mechanisms. By masquerading the source IP address of a banned website to one that's within China's network, the researchers are able to ban users from within the network from accessing a Chinese government website for example.

Richard Clayton, spokesperson for the laboratory at the university told reporters that the researchers had reported the findings to the Chinese Computer Emergency Response Team.


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Breaking the law
By bozilla on 7/4/2006 7:29:19 PM , Rating: 1
I'm very sure that the University who "defeated" their system is braking the law. A lot of people here don't seem to understand that you are supporting an interference with another country's sovereignty. If they want to censor the crap that is being advertised as sick, perverted or in other means against the rules of that country then nobody gives the right to US or anyone else for that matter to liberate people and hack this system.

If they want to censor it, let them do it, the people of China is the one who needs to decide whether that's good for them or not. Not you, nor me.

This is a major problem with the world today, acts of aggression towards other countries' legal systems in this way are completely unexusable and the US acts like it has some kind of obligation to interfere by breaking every law of democracy that we are preaching here.

It's funny how you respect your own laws locally but they don't seem to apply on the rest of the world.

The bottom line is this. It's in nobody's interest for China to be isolated because the money hungry corporations are just drooling over their market and how much crap they can sell and having the internet blocked ruins all of their plans.

You have to learn how to look at a big picture here.




RE: Breaking the law
By campreal on 7/4/2006 10:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a Chinese,I agree with you though I disagree the government.I think China will be more open in the future but it needs some time.


RE: Breaking the law
By Kuroyama on 7/5/2006 1:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
As a non-Chinese it is not my place to decide what should/should not be allowed. However, I find it interesting that almost all Chinese people I talk to at the university say nearly the same thing, I think China will be more open in the future but it needs some time. Maybe it's true, but the answer is so consistent that it makes me strongly suspect that the people hear the government line so much that they believe it without thinking about it much.

For the sake of being balanced, we in the US are certainly not immune to this. A poll a little while ago asked "Why do you think the terrorists attacked us?" and something like 75% (I'm too lazy to check) said "Because they hate our democracy and freedom". This is an absolutely stupid answer (and few people could answer the follow up question "Why do they hate it?"), but politicians repeat it so often that many have come to believe it, without deciding whether it actually makes any sense.


RE: Breaking the law
By calguy on 7/4/2006 10:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
The University is not breaking the law because all the commands were sent from Europe to China and not the other way round.


RE: Breaking the law
By Avalon on 7/5/2006 12:13:31 AM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting the small detail that Cambridge is in the UK, not the US.


RE: Breaking the law
By bozilla on 7/5/2006 8:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
Weird, I swear I read a US University name the first time. Nevermind, it everything I say it still holds for UK.


RE: Breaking the law
By yacoub on 7/5/2006 12:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
You have to learn how to look at a big picture here.
Hilarious, seeing how you completely miss the bigger picture.


RE: Breaking the law
By bozilla on 7/5/2006 8:54:37 PM , Rating: 2
No son, I've been living in every possible society and environments, from poverty to being very very well off financially, from communism, socialism to capitalism and so called democracy, from having bombs and bombers fly over my head not knowing whether bombs will hit my building or not and I am living in the States today looking at everything that's happening.

I'm pretty sure that you really have no idea what's going on in the world today and why things are done the way they are done.

I would like to hear what is it that you consider a big picture. I didn't miss anything, I'm just a bit more experienced in the way things work in today's world.


RE: Breaking the law
By rcc on 7/5/2006 2:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
That's right, blame the US. However, Cambridge U is in the UK.

>>This is a major problem with the world today, acts of >>aggression towards other countries' legal systems in this >>way are completely unexusable and the US acts like it has >>some kind of obligation to interfere by breaking every >>law of democracy that we are preaching here.

>>It's funny how you respect your own laws locally but they >>don't seem to apply on the rest of the world.


RE: Breaking the law
By bozilla on 7/5/2006 8:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure that University mentioned was US one and now it's Cambridge. I misread, however this doesn't change a thing. UK is the same thing as US to be honest, except that people are a bit more educated and informed. The government is still the same as in US (no wonder when they keep kissing US ass all the time, but that's another story).


RE: Breaking the law
By rcc on 7/6/2006 12:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
For someone as experienced and as well travelled as you claim to be, you don't see very well. There are many differences between US and UK people, customs, laws, and culture; none of which fit your description, IMHO of course.
Then again, I don't suppose the average "Westerner" really sees a big difference between Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, for instance; when it comes to the people, culture and government.


OTOH, I can't disagree with your original premise that it's a chinese problem, and needs to be addressed by the Chinese.


RE: Breaking the law
By bozilla on 7/6/2006 2:52:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well when I said it's the same I wasn't talking about people and customs and traditions. I'm talking about the government and the way it operates. It's not much different from the US way of looking at things and it's mainly because they are looking up to US in more ways then one.

Btw, I'm from Eastern Europe, and I know very well what England is like and other countries and I got to know how US works since I live in the States now.

So yes, I do know more then you think.


RE: Breaking the law
By Creche on 7/7/2006 3:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Um...the whole idea is you modify something on YOUR OWN SERVER, you don't touch the chinese network. You got it backwards, the chinese have no right to tell you how to configure your server, so if it's set up in a way their firewall isn't suspecting...well, too bad for them, chinese people can see your content.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

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