GreatFire

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GreatFire
GreatFire-Logo.png
Formation2011[1]
TypeNon-profit organization[2]
PurposeAdvocacy against Internet censorship in China
WebsiteGreatFire.org

GreatFire (GreatFire.org) is a non-profit organization that monitors the status of websites censored by the Great Firewall of China[3] and helps Chinese Internet users circumvent the censorship and blockage of websites in China.[4][5] The website also hosts a testing system that allowed visitors to test in real time the accessibility of a website from various locations within China. The organization's stated mission was to "bring transparency to the Great Firewall of China."[6]GreatFire's goal is to get people at a more wide scale to protest against the "injustice in China".

GreatFire has worked with BBC to make the Chinese-language BBC website available to users in China, despite it being blocked by the Great Firewall, by using a method known as collateral freedom[7] that mirrored content on widely used content delivery networks, such as Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare, so that it would be too economically costly for censors to block.[8][9][10] The organization has since set up similar mirror sites for other blocked websites, such as Google and the New York Times, with a directory of links hosted on GitHub.[11]

For security reasons, the members of the organization remain anonymous and do not know much about each other to prevent the whole project from coming down in the event one would be caught by the Chinese government.[12]

GreatFire has been targeted with distributed denial-of-service attacks that attempt to take down the website by overloading its servers with traffic.[13] In April 2015 it was targeted by a Chinese attack tool named Great Cannon that redirected massive amounts of Internet traffic to servers used by GreatFire.[14]

A sister site, FreeWeibo, monitors and makes available content from leading Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo that has been censored and deleted by Chinese authorities under the Great Firewall.[15]

In 2015, the Associated Press reported that GreatFire receives funding from a variety of sources, including the Open Technology Fund (OTF), a United States government-backed program at Radio Free Asia.[16] The Open Technology Fund says on its website that it gave Greatfire.org a $114,000 grant in 2014.[17] On its website, the organization identifies GreatFire as an "OTF-supported" initiative.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "When did GreatFire.org launch?". GreatFire.org. Retrieved November 8, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Do you make money?". GreatFire.org. Retrieved November 8, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Biggs, John (March 19, 2015). "Anti-Censorship Service Greatfire Is Under Attack". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "Chinese anti-censorship group Greatfire.org suffers massive hack". The Guardian. March 20, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Boehler, Patrick (March 20, 2015). "Hackers Attack GreatFire.org, a Workaround for Websites Censored in China". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Online Censorship In China - GreatFire". GreatFire.org. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Robinson, David; Yu, Harlan; An, Anne. "Collateral Freedom - A Snapshot of Chinese Internet Users Circumventing Censorship" (PDF). Open Internet Tools Project. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-01. Retrieved 28 December 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Meyer, David (November 24, 2014). "BBC uses "collateral freedom" system to bypass Chinese censorship". GigaOM. Gigaom, Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Wilson, Mark (November 25, 2014). "GreatFire.org and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China". BetaNews. BetaNews, Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Newman, Lily Hay (November 25, 2014). "The BBC Is Working With a Transparency Group to Bring Uncensored News Into China". Slate. The Slate Group LLC. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "GitHub: greatfire/wiki". Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Ritzen, Yarno (2018-06-21). "Meet the activists fighting the Great Chinese Firewall". Aljazeera.
  13. ^ Russel, Jon (March 30, 2015). "These Activists Are Plotting To End Internet Censorship In China". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ Perlroth, Nicole (April 10, 2015). "China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 10, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ "不受屏蔽的"自由微博"" [Unblocked "Free Weibo"]. Deutsche Welle (in Chinese). May 17, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Associated Press (2015-03-20). "Chinese anti-censorship group Greatfire.org suffers massive hack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  17. ^ "Greatfire - Expanding Collateral Freedom". Open Technology Fund. Retrieved 2019-06-24.
  18. ^ "China's Great Cannon". Open Technology Fund. Retrieved 2019-06-24.

External links[edit]