China’s notorious website-blocking technology is impacting the global DNS system as well as restricting access to content locally, according to a comprehensive analysis of the technology.
China’s DNS-based internet filtering apparatus – popularly known as the ‘Great Firewall’ – was observed for nine months by Citizen Lab-affiliated computer scientists using GFWatch, a platform capable of testing hundreds of domains a day.
The platform, which enabled continuous monitoring of the Great Firewall’s filtering behavior detected that a total of 311,000 domains were being censored.
The internet censorship analyst talks about the evolution of China’s system, how it differs from and affects other countries, and when, exactly, The Wire China got blocked in China.
Hoàng Nguyên Phong is a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University, where he studies online security and privacy. He is also a visiting research fellow at University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, where he focuses on internet censorship measurement. His recent paper “How Great is the Great Firewall?
In the largest study of its kind, a team of academics from four US and Canadian universities said they were able to determine the size of China’s Great Firewall internet censorship capabilities. In a research project that lasted nine months, from April to December 2020, academics developed a system called GFWatch that accessed domains from inside and outside China’
Earlier this week, Chinese censors abruptly blocked access to the website of Jawa Pos, one of Indonesia’s largest newspapers, confounding its publishers.
Hoàng Nguyên Phong, a researcher at the Open Technology Fund who tracks Chinese censorship, noticed on March 24 that Jawapos.com, which is published in Bahasa Indonesia, was being restricted using a technique known as DNS poisoning, which spoofs a website’s IP address to direct traffic to the wrong place.