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China's Golden Shield Project

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The Golden Shield Project, colloquially known as the “Great Firewall of China”, is the Chinese government’s Internet surveillance and censorship campaign. OpenNet Initiative, a professional collaboration between the Cambridge Security Program, University of Toronto Citizen Lab, and Harvard Law School, declared the Firewall to be the most sophisticated content-filtering intranet regime in the world (Punyakumpol). The Ministry of Public Security, China’s principle security authority, initiated, developed, and operates the intranet project, policing both online and by human force. However, the issue is more complex, because “the Chinese economy benefits tremendously from the Internet, but the Internet, in turn, is interfering with its political stability” (Punyakumpol). The political motivations behind this severe censorship are a driving factor of the project’s resilience, and therefore has become one of the most controversial human rights topics in recent years.
The Great Firewall of China censors innumerable amounts of content for an assortment of reasons. The most common objective is to silence criticism of the Chinese government and to prevent ideologies contrary to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policies from gaining momentum. The Chinese government goes beyond just blocking individual websites however, using “techniques to scan URLs and web page content for blacklisted keywords like ‘Tiananmen’ and block such traffic” (Hoffman). Due to this, they most often target social media platforms, virtual commercial exchange markets, and information-based registers. To compensate they have developed their own social networking sites, search engines, and directories, completely controlled by the Chinese government, allowing them the abi...

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