[LINK] RFI: Joint Select Ctee on Cybersafety

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Mar 14 14:13:08 AEDT 2011

Roger Clarke wrote:

> ...  pressure-points worth considering

Though NOT suggesting that such a thing be done, perhaps pollies should
be aware that a personal, "filter backlash effect" might happen, as has
occured frequently for example regards China's Great Wall and Wikileaks.

I would NOT wish such a reaction on anyone, but it's a fact they happen: 

‘Great firewall’ of China can’t shield its creator from hate mail

PTI | Feb 19, 2011, 06.56am IST

BEIJING: The father of China's 'Great Firewall', which is used by the 
authorities to block popular social networking sites like Facebook and 
Twitter, is now a much hated man for his "infamous invention " and is 
often subjected to "dirty abuse" on his microblog. 

Fang Binxing, 50, the inventor of the Great Firewall (GFW) of China and a 
recipient of several top Chinese government awards for his invention, had 
to shut down his microblog to escape from the "dirty abuse". 

Fang was surprised to see the barrage of hate mail when he opened his 
account on a popular microblog sina.com used by more than 100 million 
bloggers in China. 

Fang's handiwork brought down on him an intense barrage of online 
criticism in December when he opened a microblog on sina.com, official 
Global Times said. "Within three hours, nearly 10,000 Web users left 
messages for the father of the GFW. Few were complimentary," it said. 

However, Fang who has "shut down his microblog account after a few days" 
to escape the fury dismisses it as a, "sacrifice for the country". 

Defending his work to block the content, the IT scholar said he was only 
doing the right thing even if he got sticks and stones. 

Fang proudly confirms that he was head designer for key parts of the GFW 
which was launched in 1998 and went online in 2003. "I regard the dirty 
abuse as a sacrifice for my country. They can't get what they want so 
they need to blame someone emotionally: like if you fail to get a US visa 
and you slag off the US visa official afterwards," he told the daily. 

One proud tale, Fang would like to narrate was how his GFW made China 
impregnable with the founder of Facebook , Mark Zuckerberg, openly 
wondering about how to break it when he visited Beijing during Christmas 
last year. Zuckerberg is said to have pleaded with local Chinese 
entrepreneurs to show him how to beat the great firewall. "Ever since I 
landed here in China I can't log onto my Facebook account!" Zuckerberg 
reported to have said at a meeting. 

"The joke might not be real, but the great firewall of China is very much 
alive, blocking the world's most popular websites, including YouTube, 
Facebook, Twitter and WikiLeaks," the daily said. 

Recently, Chinese micro bloggers complained that developments relating to 
mass uprising in Egypt were blocked in China fearing that it might 
inspire similar protests. 

Fang, who works as a professor at the National University of Defence 
Technology here, refuses to reveal how the great firewall works, 
saying "it is confidential." "The country urgently needed such a system 
at that time," he said. 

He claimed that GFW is a "common phenomenon around the world" and in 
about 180 countries including the US. 



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