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TypeNon-profit organization[2]
PurposeAdvocacy against Internet censorship in China

GreatFire ( is a non-profit organization that monitors the status of websites censored by the Great Firewall of China[3] and helps Chinese Internet users circumvent the censorship and blockage of websites in China.[4][5] The website also hosts a testing system that allowed visitors to test in real time the accessibility of a website from various locations within China. The organization's stated mission was to "bring transparency to the Great Firewall of China."[6]

GreatFire has worked with BBC to make the Chinese-language BBC website available to users in China, despite it being blocked by the Great Firewall, by using a method known as collateral freedom[7] that mirrored content on widely used content delivery networks, such as Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare, so that it would be too economically costly for censors to block.[8][9][10] The organization has since set up similar mirror sites for other blocked websites, such as Google and the New York Times, with a directory of links hosted on GitHub.[11]

For security reasons, the members of the organization remain anonymous and do not know much about each other to prevent the whole project from coming down in the event one would be caught by the Chinese government.[12]

GreatFire has been targeted with distributed denial-of-service attacks that attempt to take down the website by overloading its servers with traffic.[13] In April 2015 it was targeted by a Chinese attack tool named Great Cannon that redirected massive amounts of Internet traffic to servers used by GreatFire.[14]

A sister site, FreeWeibo, monitors and makes available content from leading Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo that has been censored and deleted by Chinese authorities under the Great Firewall.[15]

In 2015, the Associated Press reported that GreatFire receives funding from a variety of sources, including the Open Technology Fund (OTF), a United States government-backed program at Radio Free Asia.[16] The Open Technology Fund says on its website that it gave a $114,000 grant in 2014.[17] On its website, the organization identifies GreatFire as an "OTF-supported" initiative.[18]

See also


  1. ^ "When did launch?". Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Do you make money?". Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ Biggs, John (March 19, 2015). "Anti-Censorship Service Greatfire Is Under Attack". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^ "Chinese anti-censorship group suffers massive hack". The Guardian. March 20, 2015. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ Boehler, Patrick (March 20, 2015). "Hackers Attack, a Workaround for Websites Censored in China". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ "Online Censorship In China - GreatFire". Retrieved 2015.
  7. ^ Robinson, David; Yu, Harlan; An, Anne. "Collateral Freedom - A Snapshot of Chinese Internet Users Circumventing Censorship" (PDF). Open Internet Tools Project. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2016.
  8. ^ Meyer, David (November 24, 2014). "BBC uses "collateral freedom" system to bypass Chinese censorship". GigaOM. Gigaom, Inc. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ Wilson, Mark (November 25, 2014). " and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China". BetaNews. BetaNews, Inc. Retrieved 2015.
  10. ^ Newman, Lily Hay (November 25, 2014). "The BBC Is Working With a Transparency Group to Bring Uncensored News Into China". Slate. The Slate Group LLC. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ "GitHub: greatfire/wiki". Retrieved 2015.
  12. ^ Ritzen, Yarno (2018-06-21). "Meet the activists fighting the Great Chinese Firewall". Aljazeera.
  13. ^ Russel, Jon (March 30, 2015). "These Activists Are Plotting To End Internet Censorship In China". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved 2015.
  14. ^ Perlroth, Nicole (April 10, 2015). "China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015.
  15. ^ ""?"" [Unblocked "Free Weibo"]. Deutsche Welle (in Chinese). May 17, 2013. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ Associated Press (2015-03-20). "Chinese anti-censorship group suffers massive hack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Greatfire - Expanding Collateral Freedom". Open Technology Fund. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "China's Great Cannon". Open Technology Fund. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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