The China Internet Handbook #1: GFW


In September 1987, China sent out its first email, saying: Across the Great Wall, we can reach every corner in the world. Now, 25 years later, when you go to China and try to send an email there to the world, you’ll hit the wall. The greatest Internet censorship system in the world, which simply makes China Internet the greatest Intranet in the world. Isn’t it cool? We call it the Great Firewall of China, a.k.a. GFW.

The novelist Mr Haruki Murakami ever said, “Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side the egg.” My dear egg friend, do you know actually you can jump over the wall? I’m not encouraging escapism. I just think you should know your enemy better.


Intriguingly, the name GFW is coined by Mr Charles R. Smith in his well-known 2002 article “The Great Firewall of China“, not by GFW’s father, Mr Fang Pin-hsing, a fellow of Chinese Academy of Engineering who designed the wall since 1998.

I have to say, this firewall really sucks. Miserably it’s buggy and crippled to filter information accurately. Nevertheless, it’s good enough to promote self-censorship in China Internet. No idea what it means? Please read Mr George Owell’s masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was first published just a few months before China Communist Party ruled mainland China.


Oh, you may never care why GFW exists, but you’ll get pissed off completely when you hit the wall. It’s so irritating because it’s everywhere in China.

No Facebook. No Twitter. No MySpace. Okie, maybe it’s good time to get rid of social addiction…

No YouTube. No Blogger. No Dropbox. All right. You know, sharing things online might get problems…

No Wikipedia. No Gmail. No Google… NO! GFW is totally insane!!!


IP blocking, DNS filtering and redirection, URL filtering, packet filtering, connection reset… I’m not a network engineer and I don’t really understand how these GFW techniques work. Although I’m living outside the wall since I jumped over it physically as an egghead two years ago, I still do fight against GFW every time I’m in China, just because I really care about Internet freedom.

I recommend all my friends in China to try reliable VPN (Virtual Private Network) services to bypass GFW. We don’t like big brothers, so more secure the better. Currently I’m using SSTP VPNs from Canada and SSL VPN from Hong Kong. They all work great. This VPN method sounds not simple and not cheap, but it’s worth your Internet freedom.

If everyone in China can open its eyes across GFW and reach every corner in the world, the future is not faraway.

2 Responses to “The China Internet Handbook #1: GFW”

  1. Zell says:

    I just know u hv a self-host blog. this post is great. every time i go to hk, just enjoy the internet freedom. i! lv the fresh air there. screw the GFW

  2. prejudice says:

    how did u get here? haha.

    actually i do have other sites for totally personal interests, go and check about page you’ll see.

    btw how about yours???

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