The Chinese government’s Internet monitoring and censorship programs present particular challenges for foreign correspondents, whether it be accessing Web sites in their home country or communicating privately with sources. While it is probably impossible to write a definitive account of either the technical difficulties or solutions, we hope this collection of resources will help correspondents overcome some of the most common problems.
· James Fallows’ March 2008 Atlantic article on “The Great Firewall” is a good explanation of the basics of Chinese Internet censorship
· As is an earlier piece by Oliver August in Wired magazine
· Reporters Without Borders has a handbook (not China-specific) on how bloggers and dissidents can evade Internet censorship
· The University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab has a guide to by-passing Internet censorship
· Front Line has a guide on how human-rights activists can evade Internet monitoring and censorship
· Open Net Initiative documents Internet filtering/censorship worldwide
· Rebecca MacKinnon’s guide for Hong Kong journalism students
Rebecca’s blog is also a good source for discussions of Internet and media issues in China http://rconversation.blogs.com/
· Andrew Lih’s blog also frequently touches on China Internet issues
Virtual Private Network (VPN). As the name suggests, these are Virtual Private Network (VPN). As the name suggests, these aresecure,private networks that run through the public Internet. This gives them the benefit of bypassing China’s Internet monitoring and censorship systems. Many corporations use VPN systems to allow employees to access company e-mail remotely; if you work for one of them, you probably will not need other tools for accessing e-mail and blocked websites. For others, there are a number of off-the-shelf technologies that can easily create VPNs.
Explanations of VPN
VPN software and services
· Free / advertising-supported
Other tools for private/secure Internet access
Gladder (an add-on for the Firefox browser)
· Web e-mail
Gmail. Accessing gmail via https:, rather than the usual http: connection, creates a secure connection for e-mail, and should be your default option. The added "s" means secure.
Hushmail. A service offering web-based email encrypted with PGP technology (see below).
· PGP email. The open-source standard Pretty Good Privacy allows for high-level encryption of e-mail sent through standard desktop e-mail software. This prevents anyone intercepting the e-mail from being able to read it.
§ Phil Zimmerman, inventor of PGP: http://www.philzimmermann.com/EN/background/index.html