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China’s Great Surveillance Wall

Written by Sid Menon’17

For years, the Chinese government has been using “the Great Firewall” to censor  media that its citizens can access. Because Chinese citizens have worked their way around this barrier, the government has upgraded its virtual arsenal with a disturbing tool for mass surveillance: “the Great Cannon,” an Internet weapon that tracks web traffic intended for Baidu (China’s most popular  search engine) and shoot it at with Github and, two of the most commonly used sites to work around the Firewall.

The Great Cannon’s aim is make the the sites malfunction by overloading them with a massive amount of Internet traffic. This virtual weapon has been used aggressively in a government crackdown against the citizens’ information they are both consuming and producing.

Some experts claim this program is not only limited to this function. With some changes, any Internet user that comes across something as simple as advertising from China could be actively monitored.

This program is not the first of its kind. The Great Cannon and PRISM–used by the NSA for surveillance as well–appear to be quite alike yet worryingly that more and more governments are using these modern age tools to spy on their citizens.


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