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[liberationtech] Collateral Freedom in China

x z xhzhang at
Thu May 2 15:06:33 PDT 2013

Excellent study!

This reminds me a recent libtech thread about GoAgent (

2013/5/2 Harlan Yu <harlanyu at>

> Hi LibTech,
> OpenITP has just released a new report—Collateral Freedom—that studies the
> state of circumvention tool usage in China today. From the report’s
> overview:
> This report documents the experiences of 1,175 Chinese Internet users who
> are circumventing their country’s Internet censorship—and it carries a
> powerful message for developers and funders of censorship circumvention
> tools. We believe these results show an opportunity for the circumvention
> tech community to build stable, long term improvements in Internet freedom
> in China.
> The circumvention tools that work best for these users are technologically
> diverse, but they are united by a shared political feature: the collateral
> cost of choosing to block them is prohibitive for China’s censors. Our
> survey respondents are relying not on tools that the Great Firewall can’t
> block, but rather on tools that the Chinese government does not want the
> Firewall to block. Internet freedom for these users is collateral freedom,
> built on technologies and platforms that the regime finds economically or
> politically indispensable.
> Download the full report here:
> The study was conducted by David Robinson, Harlan Yu and Anne An. It was
> managed by OpenITP, and supported by Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology
> Fund. We wrote it primarily for developers and funders of censorship
> circumvention technology projects, but is also designed to be accessible
> for non-technical policymakers who are interested in Internet freedom, and
> for China specialists without technology background.
> We’d be glad to hear any feedback you all have!
> best,
> Harlan.
> ---
> Harlan Yu
> Robinson + Yu
> --
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