Online Censorship In China

GreatFire.org brings transparency to the Great Firewall of China. We have monitored blocked websites and keywords since 2011.

Latest Stats

Monitoring 1031 Alexa Top 1000 Domains:147 are blocked in China
Monitoring 32098 Domains:4218 are blocked in China
Monitoring 14434 Google Searches:13992 are blocked in China
Monitoring 732 Google Sites:597 are blocked in China
Monitoring 12243 HTTPS:2453 are blocked in China
Monitoring 15754 IP Addresses:5619 are blocked in China
Monitoring 168517 URLs:48327 are blocked in China
Monitoring 23153 Weibo Searches:93 are blocked in China
Monitoring 1165 Wikipedia Pages:200 are blocked in China

Latest News

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Wed, Mar 04, 2015

Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @craigtimberg: Beware the "FREAK" flaw, a "zombie from the '90s" to remind us of perils of govt ordered security holes. http://t.co/Vy4kretweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @ChuBailiang: In Changsha, China, a replica of David, and a tourist unafraid to uphold core Western values: http://t.co/Hu58MjXlej http:… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @cctvnews: #NPC spokeswoman on Obama’s criticism of counter-terrorism law: Even Western gov'ts & US have often requested companies for e… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina How China uses J-visas to punish international media for critical coverage http://t.co/MQltK6vdKV
via @pressfreedom retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @chengr28: RevokeChinaCerts 的 Android 版本在 @phoeagon 的帮助下(其实全是他搞的我基本没搞过……正式发布了,大家可以去试试哦,使用说明在 README.md 里 https://t.co/OhSylJNrkP http://… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @trevortimm: Obama rips China for trying to force tech companies to install backdoors. Maybe he should talk to the FBI & NSA too. http:/… retweet

Tue, Mar 03, 2015

Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @reportfromNL: Fascinating online map showing cyberattacks happening worldwide right now. Not very interactive though - http://t.co/HfXGretweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina Atmosphere of fear expected to dominate China's annual parliament http://t.co/oFXQ1ZrPoE retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina great story about censorship and sensitivities in China: Travels with My Censor http://t.co/xCm1ghJvuH via @peterhessler retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @getlantern: .@CTechFestival android developers! Come help build a blocking resistant @twitter app powered by lantern! #CTFestival http:… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @the_intercept: Worried about surveillance on your smartphone? You should download these encryption apps: http://t.co/pbYtV4XY0y http://… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina Does your school / workplace / government network block certain websites? Circumvent with this Android app https://t.co/Mb7Shd6wFi retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina Are you a foreigner planning to visit China? You have to download this app https://t.co/Mb7ShcOVgI retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @jonrussell: Avast confirmed that its antivirus service and website are blocked in China -- latest victim of the Great Firewall http://t… retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @avast_antivirus: @oiax Hello. We are aware that Avast is being blocked in China and are currently investigating the situation. We will … retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina Antivirus Maker Avast blocked in China and Symantec and Kaspersky Lab removed from the list for state organizations http://t.co/6HgpfLfFKD retweet

Mon, Mar 02, 2015

Twitter: GreatFireChina Antivirus Maker Avast Is Latest Overseas Tech Firm Blocked In China http://t.co/o4Xe33pKaE via @techcrunch retweet
Twitter: GreatFireChina RT @niubi: Xinhua officially launches global social media presence - Xinhua http://t.co/Ey3sNiczAr retweet

Mon, Jan 26, 2015

An Open Letter to Lu Wei and the Cyberspace Administration of China

January 26, 2015

Beijing, China

 

Mr. Lu Wei

Director of the Cyberspace Administration of the People’s Republic of China 中央网络安全和信息化领导小组办公室主任

Director of the State Internet Information Office 国家互联网信息办公室主任

Deputy Director of the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party 中共中央宣传部副部长

Cyberspace Administration of China,

Floor 1, Building 1,

Software Park, Chinese Academy of Sciences,

4 South 4th Street, Zhongguancun,

Beijing, China, 100190

 

Dear Mr. Lu,

On January 22, 2015, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), which is under your direct control, wrote a response to a story we published about an MITM attack on Microsoft. In the post, your colleague, Jiang Jun, labelled our accusations as "groundless" and  "unsupported speculation, a pure slanderous act by overseas anti-China forces".

We at GreatFire.org take great offense to these comments and we will refute them in this letter.

Mon, Jan 19, 2015

Outlook grim - Chinese authorities attack Microsoft

On January 17, we received reports that Microsoft’s email system, Outlook (which was merged with Hotmail in 2013), was subjected to a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack in China.

The following screenshot shows what happens when a Chinese user accesses Outlook via an email client (in this case, Ice-dove):

We have tested Outlook to verify the attack and have produced the same results. IMAP and SMTP for Outlook were under a MITM attack. Do note however that the web interfaces (https://outlook.com and https://login.live.com/ ) were not affected. The attack lasted for about a day and has now ceased.

This form of attack is especially devious because the warning messages users receive from their email clients are much less noticeable than the warning messages delivered to modern browsers (see screenshot at the end of this post for comparison).

(Sample error message from default iPhone mail client)

Fri, Jan 09, 2015

GFW upgrade fail - visitors to blocked sites redirected to porn

In the past, the Chinese authorities’ DNS poisoning system would direct Chinese internet users who were trying to access Facebook, Twitter and other blocked websites (without the use of a circumvention tool) to a set of fake IP addresses that are blocked in China or are non-existent. After waiting for some time, Chinese internet users would receive a timeout message if they were trying to access a blocked site.

However, with the new DNS poisoning system, in addition to those IP addresses used before, the Chinese authorities are using real IP addresses that actually host websites and are accessible in China. For example, https://support.dnspod.cn/Tools/tools/ shows that if a user tries to access Facebook from China, they might instead land on a random web page, e.g. http://178.62.75.99

Below is a screenshot by a Chinese user when he was trying to access our GreatFire.org website which was blocked in China. He was redirected to a goverment site in Korea. In essense, GFW is sending Chinese users to DDOS the Korea government's website.

One Chinese Internet user reported to us that when he tried to access Facebook in China, he was sent to a Russian website, unrelated to Facebook. Another user tweeted that he was redirected to an German adult site when he tried to access a website for a VPN.

某墙你这什么意思,DNS 污染返回给我一个德国工口站的 IP,满屏很黄很暴力弹弹弹(

— nil (@xierch) January 4, 2015

Wed, Dec 31, 2014

CNNIC leadership change coincides with blocking of Gmail

On December 26, 2014, in an announcement posted on their website, a new chairperson for CNNIC was directly appointed by the Cyberspace Administration of China. The announcement of this appointment coincided with the complete blocking of Gmail.

Cyberspace Administration of China (中央网信办) is chaired by Lu Wei, “China’s web doorkeeper”. Lu Wei is also the vice chair of the Central Propaganda Department, according to his official resume.

chair.png

This office is directly responsible for the blocking of Gmail and other websites including Facebook, Twitter and Google.

CNNIC is China’s certification authority and operates the country’s domain name registry. 

What are certificates used for?

Certificates are used primarily to verify the identity of a person or device, authenticate a service, or encrypt files. 

What is a certification authority (CA)?  

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