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Friday, October 13, 2006

Who are China's Top Internet Cops?

The administration in charge of China's Internet gatway access restriction is a bureau under the Ministry of Information Industry, its full title is "National Management Center of Internet and Information Security" 国家计算机网络与信息安全管理中心. It is located at a building 1000 meters northeast of Madian Bridge, third north ring road, in Beijing. The head is Fang Binxing, (方滨兴) who used to be a teacher at the Internet center of Harbin Institute of Technology, and was picked up by the ministry’s Zhang Chunjiang to manage Internet censorship.
The so-called “Information Gateway” they are working on consists of a large number of servers sitting on the international interfaces of China's Internet. The gateways monitor the information flow, and send out fake TCP packages to cut the TCP connections as soon as specific keywords are detected.
The organizations executing the gateway project are a few companies owned by Harbin Institute of Technology. Another company called VenusTech Ltd." (启明星辰信息技术有限公司) is also involved in the manufacture of a set of backup facilities.
Witnessing the remarkable accomplishments and benefits of Ministry of Information Industry's Information Gateway project, the Ministry of Public Security has been getting jealous. It then considered imposing monitoring on all provincial and municipal Internet interfaces and on the interfaces of large-scale IDCs. The ministry invested a huge amount of money on their own project. A friend of mine recently attended one of their tests on IDC monitoring facilities.
As soon as the system is put into service, all behaviors of Chinese Internet users will be recorded in the huge storage. Your online account, password, and conversation records will be under tight surveillance. And your online behavior can be traced back up to a year.

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