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[liberationtech] Cryptocat Censored in China

Martin Johnson greatfire at greatfire.org
Sat Dec 22 19:28:24 PST 2012


Hi all,

I'm the founder of GreatFire.org. Let me try to explain how we run our
tests. I'd very much like to get your feedback on how our system can become
more accurate and transparent.

The two Crypto.cat URLs being tested can be viewed here:
https://en.greatfire.org/https/project.crypto.cat
https://en.greatfire.org/https/blog.crypto.cat

Both pages state that the URLs are "x% restricted in China" but "0%
blocked". Next to the "Otherwise restricted" label, there's a link to
"Throttling" explaining our definition which in turn refers to
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandwidth_throttling. A throttled websites is
slow but not blocked. Labeling it as throttled also suggests that it's
intentionally slow, which we cannot prove. A lot of foreign websites are
slow in China, but there are big differences. For example, we strongly
suspect that GMail and other Google services are actively throttled, to
discourage people from using them. Other websites could simply be slow
because of where they are hosted and the speed from China to that web host.

On our test pages, if you click on any date in the calendar, you can view
our detailed test data. You can for example see that the "Host IPs" for
Crypto.cat returned when tested from the US and different locations in
China are the same. You can also verify the HTML title and the download
size, etc.

Crypto.cat is not blocked in China now, but if it becomes popular, it will
most likely be blocked. If they use DNS poisoning you'd have to setup
mirror websites. If they block the IP, however, you can rotate the IP
addresses to get around it. We offer a service that does this at
https://unblock.cn.com and we'd be happy to help you reach as many users as
possible in China.

Feedback very welcome.

Martin Johnson
---
https://FreeWeibo.com <https://freeweibo.com/> - Uncensored, Anonymous Sina
Weibo Search.
https://GreatFire.org <https://greatfire.org/> - Monitoring Online
Censorship In China.
https://Unblock.cn.com <https://unblock.cn.com/> - We Can Unblock Your
Website In China.



On Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 1:04 AM, Joss Wright <
joss-liberationtech at pseudonymity.net> wrote:

> On Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 05:48:34PM +0100, Ralph Holz wrote:
> >
> > PS: While I was at it, I checked the current DNS rewriting for
> > twitter.com. It still points to a Korean IP.
>
> Some of the more fun DNS poisoning in my experiments[1] were >=15
> apparently unrelated servers across China all redirecting torproject.org
> to 'tonycastro.net' or 'tonycastro.com', and a separate set redirecting
> to 'thepetclubfl.net'.
>
> A New Scientist journalist wrote up that work[2] and contacted both
> sites. Tony Castro[3] instantly threatened to sue everyone in sight for
> implying that he was a Chinese sleeper agent. The Pet Club webmaster had
> noticed the Chinese traffic and was interested to know where it had come
> from. :) (I suggested setting up a few China-focused pay-per-view
> adverts.)
>
> Joss
>
> [1]
> http://www.slideshare.net/josswright/through-a-router-darkly-remote-investigation-of-chinese-internet-f
> [1b]
> http://www.pseudonymity.net/~joss/doc/work/presentation/2012/10/wright-censormap.pdf(Original)
> [2]
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21628936.300-florida-pet-spa-mystery-link-to-chinas-great-firewall.html(Requires registration.)
> [3] http://tonycastro.net/ (A life story worth Googling...)
>
> --
> Joss Wright | @JossWright
> http://www.pseudonymity.net
> --
> Unsubscribe, change to digest, or change password at:
> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
>
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