China's Censorship Firewall Defeated
July 4, 2006 3:14 PM
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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
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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RE: cat and mouse
7/7/2006 2:56:04 PM
Alright, I have a couple important points to make here.
1. Most people who look at child porn get it from freenet, not a website (google freenet if you've never heard of it), so censorship doesn't really come in to play in blocking it.
2. Education and medical treatment? The people looking at child porn aren't stupid OR medically sick. I wouldn't even say that they're mentally sick, two of my closest friends like child porn...and I also wouldn't like to see them in jail for life or gassed. It's easy to demonize people you've never met or interacted with, but most of the audience for child porn are normal people with friends, family, and a 40 hour a week job. Those of you proposing harsh punishments, imagine if you'd still feel that way if your best friend or your father was into child porn (you might say their not, but most people who are won't admit it due to the fact it's a crime).
3. If you really want to cut down on the issue people have, the abuse of children, you should bring the entire operation above ground. The fact that child porn's illegal is part of the problem, it means the guys who are making it operate out of basements, and usually use force to make kids not talk about it. People attracted to younger children have been around for thousands of years, and a long time ago it wasn't considered unusual to marry and sleep with a 13 year old. Child porn isn't going away, for better of for worse, so if you want to make sure the children involved with it aren't abused, the best way to do that is turn it into an industry with strict government supervision.
4. The people looking at child porn aren't the problem. In fact, I'd say it's good for them to have access to it. Since child porn became reasonably popular, child abuse rates have started dropping, since potential pedophiles can get their fix with pictures instead of real kids. It was the same way with rape-based porn.
5. Censoring anything, and I mean ANYTHING, is an incredibly slippery slope. In my opinion, all obscenity laws (a bunch of laws with a fancy word that lets courts violate the first amendment) should be discarded. Abusing children is bad, yes, but the way to stop it is to go after the people abusing the children. Pursuing people looking at child porn because they're supporting these businesses would be like blaming people who wore cotten clothes for slavery. It just doesn't make sense. And you can already see the effects of this now, in some places in america people aren't allowed porn featuring beastiality or necrophilia, or in some places even extreme BDSM. Hell, even having to bleep the word fuck on TV comes from obscenity laws. And if you try and further the censorship of one of these materials, things are just going to degrade further.
Hope not too many people are mad at me about that...I understand there are some very unpopular viewpoints in there, but hopefully you'll at least think about them. Feel free to make baseless accusations about my own sexual preferences or moral fiber below, I collect them (have a big text file).
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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