The Great Firewall
is the term coined to refer to the more than 20 security server
s that the Chinese government
has set up around its borders in order to filter out any inappropriate web content
. A popular target for hacktivism
, this network has been hack
ed more than a few times since its initial deployment, and the list of banned websites
has been recovered.
Among the entries were CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, Taiwanese newspapers, Penthouse.com, Amnesty International, freechina.org, Parents.com, Family.com, the Human Rights Watch, and sites about Tiananmen Square and Falun Gong.
Although China has supposedly cracked down on its servers' security, the attempt to stop information flow on the internet, anywhere, has been compared to nailing jelly to the ceiling. Citizens are already finding ways around the current restrictions (through proxy servers or even tunnelling ip through e-mail, for instance.) China addresses these security issues by mandating content control at every level. If an individual user acesses illegal information or relays unlawful secrets (such as chatting about the Tiananmen Square massacre), the individual and the user's ISP are both criminally liable, and subject to imprisonment.