We're a non-prfot organization and are exploring ways to make the project a financially sustaining entity.
Yes! Check our list of keywords blocked on Weibo and test any keyword here.
Again, the processes which we use can easily be applied to online censorship in other countries (including the US). At the moment however, we are focusing our efforts on China.
Use images and codewords to get around keywords blocked on Chinese websites
Thousands of keywords are blocked on Baidu, Sina Weibo etc. You can make life much more difficult for the censors by posting images of blocked keywords as well as finding other ways of describing the same thing. [To do: examples].
Use HTTPS to circumvent keywords blocked on foreign websites
If you use https://www.google.com.hk instead of... more
We have received a lot of good will from many visitors since our launch. Please feel free to contact us if there are any ideas you would like to share. Simply following us on Twitter and sharing our content with your networks is helpful for us. If you are the operator of a web site, please consider using our widget on your own web site.
We write blog posts about trends which we see in our data and are trying to build our profile via... more
There is no other real-time, up-to-date resource on what sites and searches are blocked in China. Our aim is to be the leading destination for information of this kind and our goal is to bring transparency to online censorship in China.
The Great Firewall of China resets connections of web requests that contain certain censored keywords. The screenshot above shows an example of a Google search which resulted in the connection being reset. Once a censored keyword has generated a connection reset state, it often blocks any traffic to the given website for a period of time.
DNS means Domain Name System. It's the global system which converts domain names (eg domain.com) into IP addresses (eg 126.96.36.199). DNS Poisoning refers to the intentional manipulation of this system such that a domain name does not resolve to a correct IP address. When in place, the website will be unavailable or redirect to a different website.
There are legitimate reasons why a DNS lookup may return different IPs depending on the country where the request comes from. For this reason, one can... more
The most famous example of this form of censorship is Skype. Whenever skype.com is accessed from China, it redirects to skype.tom.com. Tom.com is Skype's local partner in China. The product offered by Tom is visually very similar to the original Skype and the user is not informed of the redirection. However, Tom Skype is subject to Chinese regulations meaning that all personal data, calls and chats are filtered, centrally stored and open to government surveillance.
Our system concludes that a website... more
All websites hosted in China are required to exercise self-censorship. This takes many forms and is more complex to track than censorship of foreign websites. Some websites admit to self-censorship by displaying a certain message when searching for certain keywords. One example is Baidu, as shown above, which presents the following message for particularly sensitive searches:根据相关法律法规和政策，部分搜索结果未予显示。This roughly translates to:In accordance with relevant... more
This form of censorship means that the web request is manipulated by the Great Firewall of China such that it loads indefinitely without a response. The browser gives up after a period of time and displays a message such as "The connection has timed out". Without access to circumvention tools, it's not possible to distinguish between this form of censorship and server problems. As a result, many users may interpret the message as a technical problem caused by the website itself.
Our system... more
We started collecting data about the Great Firewall of China in February, 2011, and launched a web site making this information public under the name GreatFirewall.biz. We changed our name to GreatFire.org in October, 2011. We have continued to add information about blocked searches and web sites and are constantly trying to improve our data. Initially we only covered a few hundred web sites but now we monitor over 10,000 urls.
Our data comes from the following sources:
1. User additions. Anyone can add a new URL for testing and it will be continuously tested by our system.
2. Collaboration with other projects. Any URL that's marked as blocked in China by these sources is automatically imported into our system: Autoproxy, China Digital Times and Herdict. Each keyword in our system - be it on on Baidu, Google, Weibo or Wikipedia - corresponds to a URL on that website which is tested for censorship similarly to how any other URL is tested. These keywords are mainly added by users. China... more
Due to the sensitive nature of the content on our web sites we prefer to remain anonymous at this point. You can, however, contact us on info at greatfire dot org or via @GreatFireChina on Twitter.