Feeds

China challenged to take down ALL of AWS and Google

Greatfire.org leaps great firewall by mirroring Reuters in AWS and Google

High performance access to file storage

Non-profit anti-censorship body GreatFire.org has created a mirrored site that allows users in China to view the recently blocked Reuters site, in a move which could take down thousands of websites in the PRC if the authorities decide to play hardball.

Reuters China and the local language version of the Wall Street Journal were blocked by the Great Firewall last week in another sign of the Communist Party’s increasingly tough stance on censorship.

However, perpetual thorn-in-the-side of Beijing, GreatFire.org, has now mirrored the Reuters site using Amazon Web Services, therefore allowing users to view it without the need for circumvention tools like VPNs which it said can require “technical savvy” to set up.

It used the same technique to mirror its FreeWeibo.com site which helps micro-bloggers recover censored weibo posts, co-founder Charlie Smith wrote in a blog post.

That mirrored site, for the record, uses both AWS and Google.

Blocking the relevant domains, Smith continued, would create a significant backlash of the kind seen when the authorities blocked Github:

With our new mirror sites, the GFW cannot block FreeWeibo.com any longer without causing significant collateral damage which would also cause significant economic fallout in China.

Our mirror sites are unique because rather than using our own domains, we use a subpath of Amazon and Google’s domains which support HTTPS access. This means that GFW cannot block our mirror websites without blocking the domain of Amazon or Google entirely, namely “s3.amazonaws.com” and “commondatastorage.googleapis.com”.

The idea here, as Open Internet Tools Project concluded in a recent report, to make “crucial business activity inseparable from internet freedom”.

In this way, China faces a choice: take down Amazon and Google domains and the thousands of Chinese sites that rely on them, put pressure on the web giants to block GreatFire.org’s mirrored sites willingly, or do nothing.

As long as we’re just talking about a handful of mirrored sites here it’s unlikely that Beijing will go for the nuclear option, but as always it’s a numbers game. If site mirroring becomes a popular method of bypassing the Great Firewall, and if netizens in greater numbers flock to such sites, AWS and Google may find themselves both on the wrong side of an uncompromising line in the sand. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.