China To Disable Great Firewall For The Olympics?
from the firewall,-what-firewall? dept
However, most of those reports focused mainly on the people side of the Great Firewall. Reader Jon now points us to James Fallows' more detailed look at the technological side of the Great Firewall, and the different methods that are used to block sites. Apparently, China has gotten a lot more sophisticated over the past few years in blocking sites. All traffic in and out of the country is monitored, of course, and it's now possible for the system to ban specific pages or articles that have objectionable content, rather than blocking an entire site (as it used to do). There are times when it will still block entire sites, but they can be a lot more narrowly focused. Another interesting point is that China is now using that same Firewall in two directions: if it doesn't want outsiders to be able to access certain documents, it will block foreigners from reaching certain sites within the country as well.
Perhaps the most interesting revelation, however, goes back to the ridiculous denials by Chinese officials that the Great Firewall exists. According to Fallows' sources, during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Great Firewall will be mostly turned off, so that visiting foreigners won't notice any problems accessing foreign sites, and will (or so officials hope) tell people that the concept that China is blocking many popular sites is simply a myth.