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Mon, Oct 20, 2014

China collecting Apple iCloud data; attack coincides with launch of new iPhone

This is clearly a malicious attack on Apple in an effort to gain access to usernames and passwords and consequently all data stored on iCloud such as iMessages, photos, contacts, etc. Unlike the recent attack on Google, this attack is nationwide. While the attacks on Google and Yahoo enabled the authorities to snoop on what information Chinese were accessing on those two platforms, the Apple attack is different. If users ignored the security warning and clicked through to the Apple site and entered their username and password, this information has now been compromised by the Chinese authorities. Many Apple customers use iCloud to store their personal information, including iMessages, photos and contacts. This may also somehow be related again to images and videos of the Hong Kong protests being shared on the mainland.

Mon, Sep 29, 2014

Wall Street Journal Chinese denies self-censorship

We also know that journalists are under enormous amounts of stress and we respect the fact that both WSJ and Reuters have reporters on the ground, putting themselves in danger to report this story. But why make such an effort if the fruits of that labor become evident more than 24 hours after the event for the audience that deserves to hear this story the most?

Reuters Chinese and Chinese WSJ self-censor on Hong Kong democracy protest

Reuters Chinese and WSJ Chinese are not reporting anything related to the Hong Kong protests while Reuters U.S. and WSJ U.S. both feature the protest as headline items.

Wed, Sep 24, 2014

LinkedIn debacle may come back to haunt the Chinese authorities

As the authorities place even greater restrictions on foreign internet properties who wish to operate in China, they are giving these companies little room to manoeuvre and pushing them to adopt alternative approaches.

Thu, Sep 04, 2014

Authorities launch man-in-the-middle attack on Google

While the authorities have been blocking access to most things Google since June 4th, they have kept their hands off of CERNET, China’s nationwide education and research network. However, in the lead up to the new school year, the Chinese authorities have launched a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack against Google.

Wed, Jun 18, 2014

高级五毛党伪造推特转推,阻止推友进行六四纪念

一般大家以为五毛党能一眼识别,实际不然。五毛不仅在国内评论,在海外比如推特也有活动。本文只阐述了高级五毛,明显的五毛和直接刷屏的五毛不是本文重点 现在,五毛越来越隐蔽,并且使用心理学制造红色恐怖来阻止大家进行六四纪念。此篇文章曝光了一系列这种隐蔽系列的五毛。这些推特上的五毛Follow了很多民运人士,而且推文都比较隐蔽,让人一眼看上去像普通的推友。

Mon, Jun 02, 2014

Google disrupted prior to Tiananmen Anniversary; Mirror sites enable uncensored access to information

The 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident is coming. This highlights another fierce battle in the war between China censorship authority and information flow.

Google started to encrypt search by default in China in March and currently nearly all users will be redirected to the encrypted version automatically. But prior to the anniversary of Tiananmen incident, GFW(Great Firewall of China) began to severely disrupt Google search by disrupting TCP connections to Google IPs.  The block is indiscriminate as all Google services in all countries, encrypted or not, are now blocked in China. This blockage includes Google search, images, translate, Gmail and almost all other products. In addition, the block covers  Google Hong Kong (China’s version of Google), Google.com and all other country specific versions, e.g Google France.

Wed, Mar 19, 2014

Bing Bests Baidu Censorship

Abstract

Independent research from Xia Chu has shown that, in addition to non-China content, Bing censors a vast amount of content that is hosted inside China and which is not censored by China-based internet companies like Baidu. After communicating our issues with Microsoft, Bing removed certain censorship rules (kudos to Bing), but much work remains to be done.

We recently called for Microsoft to release its transparency report for Bing (as have others - full disclosure, Rebecca sits on our advisory board).  Microsoft has yet to respond to this request. But Xia’s independent research of Bing’s China censorship policy could be regarded as a de facto transparency report for the search engine.

In this thorough study, the results of which we have verified, Xia examined Bing's SERP (search engine results page) for over 30,000 sensitive and nonsensitive query terms, and launched these queries from both inside and outside of China. Comparing and examining these results, plus querying with special search operators, reveals unprecedented detail on Bing's China filtering practices.

The main findings from Xia’s research include:

  • Bing has a list of “forbidden” terms where no results are shown. 139 such terms have been identified.

  • Bing has a blacklist of websites that it never shows to China users. 329 such websites are identified. (5 have been lifted after our communication with Microsoft.)

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