James Fallow has posted an excellent overview of the Great Firewall of China (GFW). Unlike other firewalls, that tell you when you're looking at something that isn't permitted, the GFW makes it seem like a technical problem: like the server is down or your network has a glitch. But it turns out that there's a huge hole: VPNs. China can't afford to block VPNs because every company insists on using a VPN. In fact, I think the biggest problem with the internet today is that any of it is allowed to run as unencrypted text. As a matter of law, I'm beginning to suspect that all parts of networked communications should be encrypted and distributed. For the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, we should insist that all communications be encrypted and that if the government wants to search or monitor, they should have to do it at the end points. It could also keep internet service providers honest, by not allowing them to block based on origin, destination, content, or protocol. Internet service providers should move packets -- that's all. I'd like to see the policy adopted at schools too.
Science educator, biologist, technology guru, and award-winning author of Esperanto-language haiku, haibun, and prose. he/his