Last week, the Great Firewall ( or GFW, also known as the Great F..king Wall among Chinese netizens) has been upgraded again. Many proxies and circumvention tools have been blocked, and the Chinese Internet censors have also raised their technological capacity for monitoring and surveillance.
On the other hand, an increasing number of Chinese netizens have joined the “Scaling the Wall” crowd, especially during the past 12 months. Jason Ng, a prominent Beijing-based technology blogger, has recently published an online survey on this topic on his already “Walled” (ie, blocked by the Great Firewall) blog: Kenengba. Jason processed over 5300 survey data sets and listed some of the statistical results, summarized and translated by CDT:
* More then 92% of survey participants are male
* 73% of participants have university or college degrees. 11% have master degrees, 2% have PhDs.
* 77% of participants are between 19 – 28, and most of them are between 22-25.
* Almost 50% of participants are students. 20% are in the technology field, others are from finance and other fields.
* 2/3 of participants “scale the Wall” on a daily basis. 7.5% do it every other day. 16.65% do it 1-3 times per week.
* 27% of participants started “Scaling the Wall” in the past 12 months. 52% have been doing this for 1-3 years.
* For 80% of participants, the purpose of scaling the wall is only to use Google and other basic Internet services.
* 75% will use Twitter, 72% will read news in foreign media, and 52% do it to learn from foreign technologies and products.
* 85% of participants said they have told their friends about the existence of the Great Firewall.
Here is another example of those “Wall Scalers”. Yang Yongquan (杨永全) was born in 1985, majored in Computer Science at the China Ocean University, Qingdao, Shandong Province in 2007, and currently is a PhD candidate in the Software Engineering Institute of China Ocean University. He wrote the following blog post on May 12, 2010, translated by CDT:
I will have a house, facing the sea, with Spring blossoms.”*
From tomorrow on, I will be a happy man, jumping out of the Great Firewall, escaping prison, and traveling the world. I don’t desire absolute freedom, it’s just that I hate to be so oppressed. Life here is a prison, I am tired of the endless self-entertainment.
I am exhausted, I don’t want to criticize, nor discuss.
I have been trying very hard, to convince myself that we were only at the “initial stage”, to convince myself to adapt to society; I have been trying very hard, not to be an “angry youth”, not to argue, not to transgress, only to be a law-abiding citizen. I have been trying so hard that eventually I found myself becoming too submissive. I was confused, what else do you want me to be?
I went from hope to despair, I even dared not to have any high expectations. I am confident that I can adjust myself to any environment, but I no longer wish to live in such a world, watching the people around me suffer.
I have had enough drama from those hypocrites. They act piously but with greedy and ungrateful hearts; they label themselves virtuous and moral but practice promiscuity.
I have a dream that one day, the spring flowers will blossom.
Hai Zi (Chinese:海子, 26 March 1964 – 26 March 1989) is the pen name of the Chinese poet Zha Haisheng (Chinese:查海生). He was one of the most famous poets in Mainland China after the Cultural Revolution. He committed suicide by lying on the path of a train in Shanhaiguan at the age of 25.