Getting around the Great Firewall of China

[Zach Honig] is a photographer in Beijing covering the Olympics. In light of recent allegations of the Chinese government installing monitoring software and hardware in foreign-owned hotels, the necessity of protecting one’s information has become vital and urgent, especially for journalists and photographers. [Honig] provides some suggestions for circumventing the infamous Great Firewall of China; surfing the internet through a secure VPN connection and using a proxy such as PHProxy will allow users to visit websites that have been banned within China. Such simple tricks could mean the difference between not being able to find necessary information, and the ability to surf the internet freely and openly.

[via Digg]


  1. Carlyle says:

    Better idea: Don’t travel to China at all.

  2. nathan says:

    Creating a dynamic SSH tunnel through a remote host would be the ideal.

    ssh -D6969 user@host
    Configure your web browser to SOCKS proxy

    Surf the web securely.

  3. Demo says:

    Now, I would be really careful about that. I think a relatively simple IDS could notify the “government”

  4. marc says:

    You can use witopia too. You have to pay around 30 USD every year, but it’s the fastest solution that I have found (although internet here is d*mn slow)

    Don’t worry about the Chinese goverment. Although it’s not legal to use this kind of services in the country, if you are a ‘laowai’ (foreigner) they will do nothing to you. If you are Chinese… they can do anything.

  5. I would think the best solution for journalists would be satellite communications, and for REALLY sensitive stuff, material should be encyphered AND obscured with some measure of steganography… ie, encrypt your photos of riots, but also burn them to a CD made to LOOK like a chinese pop album. Sned through the mail to a nearby country with more liberal views on the internet. (don’t look at me for suggestions there, i did all the tech work. YOU figure out which country has better internet access. South korea maybe?)

  6. #YLS# says:

    I would say VPN are a good idea for sensetive material as there not to easy to break. As for PHP proxy pages, there only good if there on your own server.

    To many people in schools use proxies, I know I was the main user at my local college but I never accessed anything that required a password. To many people go on myspace etc. It’s know wonder social networking sites are full of spam.

  7. jared says:

    I recommend cgiproxy over phpproxy any day. May take a little more effort, but when used with SSL, you can ensure https connections.

    The best method would be proxying over ssh. Many ISPs block incoming 22. Ports 8080 and 8181 are rarely blocked by businesses / isps.

  8. circuitbomb says:

    as well a useful small messenger application based on GAIM called Scatterchat (by cDc and Hactivismo) could be handy for this cause, I worked on porting the application to be installed on a thumbdrive you can grab it by following this link

  9. nikonius says:

    Vincent Laforet is another photographer in Beijing. He has reported that each VPN solution works once before it is disabled.

  10. anonymous says:

    how do u hack through school firewall

  11. Jeff says:

    China firewall is lame – use to bypass it. You can bypass China Great Firewall and access youtube, facebook, blogger and all other sites which are blocked.

  12. marco says:


    China is just a damn internet hater. If they continue to block ALL popular internet sites in the world they must completely disconnect themselves from the World Wide Web. Period.

  13. Queen says:

    I have unfiltered access to any site from China using This little proxy is so fast and simple to use. They offer 10% discount if you signup for the whole year. Try it, you’ll like it – It’s much better than Witopia.

  14. John says:

    I have been using Road Warrior VPN of a while now. All the traffic is encrypted, and none of my websites are blocked after I connect. They have been very professional to works with. I just don’t trust any of the companies who have websites that look like there where just thrown together.

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