Cracking the ‘Great Firewall’ of China’s Web Censorship

From USA Today:

If an Internet user in China searches for the word “persecution,” he or she is likely to come up with a link to a blank screen that says “page cannot be displayed.”

The same is true of searches for “Tibetan independence,” “democracy movements” or stranger sounding terms such as “oriental red space time” — code for an anti-censorship video made secretly by reporters at China’s state TV station.

It’s a reflection of the stifling, bizarre and sometimes dangerous world of Internet censorship in China. The communist government in Beijing is intensifying its efforts to control what its citizens can read and discuss online as political tensions rise ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games.

Fighting the censors every step of the way is an army of self-described “hacktivists” such as Bill Xia, a Chinese-born software engineer who lives in North Carolina. Xia and others are engaged in a kind of technological arms race, inventing software and using other tactics to allow ordinary Chinese to beat the “Great Firewall of China” and access information on sensitive subjects such as Chinese human rights and Tibet, the province where pro-independence sentiment has boiled over in recent months.

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