Experience Chinese Internet Censorship From Anywhere
Exclusive to RTR
You probably know already that the Chinese government censors Internet traffic. But you might not have known that you can experience this censorship yourself without traveling halfway around the world. I hope you enjoy this experience, it’s heading our way soon.
(1) Open another browser window or tab, so you can browse and keep this page open.
(2) In the other tab, go to http://www.baidu.com. This is a major search engine located in China.
(3) Search for an innocuous term such as “world cup”. You’ll then see a list of search results as you’d expect sent back by Baidu’s servers in China.
(4) Now return to the main page of baidu.com, and search for “Falun Gong”. (Falun Gong is a religious group banned in China.)
(5) If you are presented with results, try and click one of them. Most likely you will be presented with an error for simply searching on this term — it might say that the connection was interrupted or that the page could not be loaded. What really happened is that the Great Firewall of China inspected your Internet request searching for the banned term “Falun Gong” and responded by disconnecting your service to Baidu.
(6) If you go back to the Baidu home page you will find that this connection is also disrupted. A moment ago, you could visit the Baidu page with no trouble, but now you’re blocked. The Great Firewall is now cutting you off from even accessing Baidu because you searched for “Falun Gong.”
(7) After a 5 or 10 minutes, you’ll be allowed to connect to Baidu again, and you can play around more.
If you are thinking the Chinese can just use Google or other search engines to get around the censorship, you’d be wrong. China has an estimated 40,000 government workers monitoring the Internet activity of it’s civilians and has the ability to censor all Internet traffic leaving the country all in the name of “national security.” Sound familiar?