Web Freedom for China

Web Freedom for China


 By Raj Bilkhu


Chinese web-users enjoyed new found freedom after the Great Firewall of China collapsed temporarily.

Millions of people accessed websites they're otherwise blocked from using, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They had free access on Monday and Tuesday but the following day, the control guards were back up.

China has the biggest internet community with an estimated half a billion users.

Yet they're restricted interaction with the rest of the world on common social networks that have become a way of life for global communities.

China has strict blocks of social networking sites (SNS) from abroad because its believed they could lead to instability and social problems.

But it seems the huge Chinese population beg to differ. They bombarded American President, Barack Obama's Google+ page with hundreds of pleas to act for their freedom.

Google+ is also blocked on desktops in the country but recently its been available on some mobile phones. So, users have taken advantage and reached out to the rest of the world.

Where better to highlight your plea than the head of the biggest democracy in the world – America. Requests from people pleading for change included “the Chinese GOV doesn't represent the Chinese people” and “please pay more attention to Chinese Civil Rights”.

China has created its own versions of SNS with Weibo, which is the equivalent of Twitter, and Renren, which imitates Facebook.

But it seems these futile attempts to keep the masses quiet aren't working.

23-year-old Zhang Wenjin told Reuters she “used Facebook for the first time” and has created an account.

Colloquailly known as the Great Firewall of China, this internet monitoring and IP blocking technology is part of the Golden Shield Project.

The only way to bypass the firewall is if Internet-users pay for a virtual private network (VPN), which allows uncensored searches.

A pleasure that we enjoy freely comes with a price tag in China.

It remains a mystery how a national firewall in one of the world's biggest economies failed for two days. Could it have been a successful attempt of hackers fighting for freedom to surf online?

Relevant Links
The Great Firewall of China
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