The Privacy BlogPrivacy, Security, Cryptography, and Anonymity



Shanghai getting more relaxed great firewall

The South China Morning Post reports that the ban on Facebook, Twitter, the New York Times, and many other sites, will be lifted, but only in the Shanghai free-trade zone.

The information came from anonymous government sources within China. The purpose is to make the zone more attractive to foreign companies and workers who expect open Internet access. The sources say that the more open access may be expanded into the surrounding territory if the experiment is successful.

It will be interesting to see if this actually comes to pass.

Two questions occur to me. First, will the free-trade zone be considered to be outside the firewall, and hard to access from within the rest of China? Second, is this as much about surveillance of activity on those websites as it is about providing free access?

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  • Fintan D · October 3, 2013 at 4:40 am

    It’s just more proof that China values its data privacy but is willing to ease up in the reins a little to promote commerce.

    All along I saw China as being this ultra-controlling socialist empire BUT now with the whole Prism fiasco…maybe China saw/knew this was coming a long time ago and locked the digital borders early on in the game?


    • Author comment by lance · October 3, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Values its data privacy? Seriously? The government controlled networks do deep packet inspection on all traffic and actively monitor and censor content.
      At best this is a recognition that more open internet access for foreign businesses and foreigners is economically important. I think that is coupled with a realization that it is often better to allow and spy on communications than to block them. A realization certainly not limited to China.


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