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[liberationtech] Cryptocat Censored in China

Nadim Kobeissi nadim at nadim.cc
Sun Dec 23 00:43:19 PST 2012


Hi Martin,
Thanks for the explanation, and thanks for everyone else for testing. I
guess this was a false positive!

I'll post a clarification that, at worst, this is just throttling.


NK


On Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 5:28 AM, Martin Johnson <greatfire at greatfire.org>wrote:

> 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.slideshare.net/josswright/through-a-router-darkly-remote-investigation-of-chinese-internet-f%5B1b>]
>>
>> 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
>> --
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>> https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/liberationtech
>>
>
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