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10/30/2008
12:30 PM
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Firefox Add-On Simulates Great Firewall Of China

The browser software connects to various Internet proxies inside China, putting the user through the same government supervision as Chinese Web surfers.

Fed up with the open Internet, where people can say whatever they want? Looking for someone to watch over you, to bring some order to the chaos online?

Just because a coalition of companies and rights organizations, including Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, has launched the Global Network Initiative to advance privacy and freedom of expression online doesn't mean that you have to be subjected to anything-goes discourse.

The Chinese Ministry of Information Industry has helped protect millions of Chinese Internet users from dangerous information with the Great Firewall of China, a vast censorship network that's also known as the Golden Shield Project.

And now, thanks to the China Channel Firefox add-on, Internet users outside of China can avail themselves of Chinese government supervision, free of charge.

"The Firefox add-on China Channel offers internet user outside China to surf the web as if they were in China," the China Channel Web page explains. "Take an unforgettable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by Western companies). It's open source, free and easy."

The creators of the software, Aram Bartholl, Even Roth, and Tobias Leingruber, have posted a video that explains China Channel in a bit more detail.

The China Channel add-on uses the SwitchProxy Tool add-on to connect the user to various Internet proxies inside China. This allows the user to surf the Web using a Chinese IP address, protected from thorny topics like freedom, democracy, religion, and politics by China's censorship technology.

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