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2007-09-07

 

WEF meets GFW

Many foreigners attending World Economy Forum(Dalian) were cheering with Primeir Wen's remarks on "peaceful development". I don't want to argue it's right or wrong to many new comers to China and such platitudes speech. Because the "harmonioius society" theory from ruling party seems only best worked on censorship till now. Anyone attended WEF Dalian experienced actuall censorship when they want to access Flickr, Wordpress and BBC News, etc. Also some peopel found that Twitter is not stable in these days. They may not even know the recent mass crackdowns around the country to those IDCs and thousands of web site just because a new five year ruling party congress is coming.

Internet censorship system ever had a beautiful nick name GFW(Great Firewall) and now has a new Chinese kidding name Kongfu Net(Gong Fu Wang in Pinyin). The problem is now becoming more and more serious in China. But don't just tell the reason in a simple way(for Party Congress, etc.). Actually, it actually reveals the indepth social problems(food safte underneath water for years. "The more of ropes they throw out, the faster they hang themselves", another WEF blogger attendee said to me yesterday. I was shocked by the words, but totally believe it's true.

Interestingly, I found different behaviors of GFW at different places in Dalian. In WEF conference hall. I can never access Twitter site. However, it's possible in Hotel. And they share the same list of other banned sites(including Feedburner, Wikipedia Chinese, Wordpress, Flickr picture server, etc.) It could be caused by the uncompleted deployment to the distributed GFW blacklist to different ISPs and areas. The GFW blacklist is guessed a centralized database but synchorized to distributed gateway routers to different ISPs in different provinces. It's not so sure yet whether local authorities can access their respective gateway to edit the blacklist because we alwasy get report from users in different locations. But basically, we can be sure today that the centralized system is there.

Anyway, it's very interesting topic that GFW meets WEF. Its the real world of how China meets the world. How totalitarian meets open society. And how reality meets future. The interaction of China and world may face more and more such mindset conflictions in the coming decade, but we can believe the universal value of humanity can eventually win the future.

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