China Digital Space

Great Firewall

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GFW/防火长城 (Fánghuǒ Chángchéng): Great Firewall

“No wall scaling allowed!! Violators will have their penis nipped!!” (Artist: Dongganchengyu 动感成鱼)

The nickname Chinese netizens have given to the Chinese government's system for blocking certain online content from view in mainland China, often abbreviated GFW. A firewall is any mechanism which controls Internet traffic. Like its namesake, the Great Wall, the Great Firewall was built to keep unwanted foreign influences out of China. The result is a balkanized Internet within China, known as the Chinternet or Great Chinese LAN.

Chinese netizens who wish to access blocked content can attempt to scale the wall, using software to mask their IP addresses and thus circumvent the censorship. However, authorities continue to adjust and upgrade the Great Firewall, which results in a game of cat-and-mouse between censors and netizens.


Ermeiyaoxiaodao (@二枚腰小道): GFW (Great Firewall of China) has blocked all Google services, including Google Scholar, which is essential to research. If you think this is unacceptable, we request that you forward this page on Weibo and Wechat. In early 2013, after GFW blocked Github (a code-sharing site), a large number of programmers protested on Weibo as well as at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. As a result, GFW was forced to unblock Github. No struggle, no freedom! Please forward this page to pressure GFW! (June 13, 2014)
GFW(中国国家防火长城)屏蔽了所有谷歌(Google)的服务,包括对科研至关重要的Google学术。如果你认为这是不可接受的,请将本页面转发到微博,微信。 在2013年初,GFW封锁了Github(代码分享网站)后,大量程序员在微博和工信部投诉,最后GFW被迫解封。没有抗争就没有自由!请大家转发此页面给GFW施压![Chinese]

The “Father of the Great Firewall,” Fang Binxing, is one of China’s most reviled Internet personalities. Fang openly admitted to using six virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass the censorship apparatus that he himself engineered.

See also chinternet, great wall, and Great Chinese LAN.

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