Feeds

China strengthens Great Firewall ahead of anniversary

Tor users targeted

Website security in corporate America

The Chinese government has used its unrivalled net censorship apparatus to attack parts of the Tor network ahead of the 60th anniversary of communist rule, according to activists.

The Tor Project Inc, the non-profit that oversees development of the network, said China's Great Firewall began blocking IP addresses on Friday. The news follows an update last week to blocking technology used by ISPs, known as "Blue Shield".

"We knew this day would come," the Tor Project said.

Tor - originally developed for the US Navy - is used by many Chinese dissidents to conceal their identity and protect their privacy. It allows them to access banned material such as websites about Tibet, the Tiananmen Square Massacre and the recent Uigur uprising.

The Tor network was also recently widely used in Iran to disseminate information about violent clashes following the presidential election.

About 80 per cent of public relays are now blocked inside China, the Tor Project said. Public relays are most users' gateway to Tor, which beats tracking and blocking by encrypting and bouncing traffic around a random global labyrinth of proxy servers run by members of the network.

China's Great Firewall is implemented by the country's ISPs so it is able to block this first hop onto Tor using the directory of public relays. However, Chinese users are cannot be completely denied access to Tor. It is also possible to hop on to the network via a "bridge" relay.

Bridge relays were added to the network as a counter-measure to blocking. No list of their IP addresses is publicly available.

The Tor Project called on members of the network to volunteer to run more bridge relays to help Chinese users. There are more details here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.