VPN Articles and News

The Great Firewall Of China Is Now Blocking Cloud Services

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

According to reliable media reports, web properties hosted on EdgeCast content delivery network (CDN) and Verizon Cloud are no longer available in China. While online censorship is the norm rather than exception in China, the blocking of two major service providers marks a dramatic escalation in censorship since it impacts thousands of websites hosted on these networks. Some of the services affected by the ban include sites of Sony Mobile, The Atlantic as well as those related to the Firefox browser.

China has deployed one of the most sophisticated and aggressive online filtering systems in the world. The censorship system, also dubbed as the Great Firewall Of China, is responsible for blocking major sites like Facebook, YouTube, Gmail and Twitter within the country plus it can also censor blog posts and comments made on social media sites in real time. Although the Chinese authorities had refrained from banning major content delivery networks and cloud services so far, they have now blocked two big service providers in a single swoop.

Online freedom watchdog GreatFire has confirmed that the Great Firewall is now blocking EdgeCast CDN. The move by the Chinese authorities is likely to cause a significant collateral damage since the EdgeCast network hosts thousands of websites and apps in China. EdgeCast representatives have also confirmed that their networks and CDNs are no longer accessible from within China. The company also stated that one of their domains (edgecastcdn.net) as well as significant number of properties hosted by them have been subject to extreme filtering and censorship without any legitimate reason.

The decision of the Chinese authorities is likely to have a big economic impact as well since the blocked content delivery networks also hosted hundreds of trade and ecommerce websites. In addition, it is bound to irk net users, professionals and academics who would be unable to access their favorite websites. The Chinese government also risks upsetting major corporations since IT systems of some of the multinational companies were hosted on these two cloud services.

GreatFire has reported that the Chinese authorities used techniques like DNS poisoning to block access to the content delivery networks. DNS poisoning (or spoofing) is a popular technique used by hackers and criminals to divert traffic from legitimate websites plus it can also be used to serve malicious advertisements and content to web users. The watchdog also said that by blocking cloud service providers and content delivery networks, the Chinese authorities are attempting to cut off China from the rest of the internet.

The latest censorship move by the Chinese authorities once again shows that the government is ready to go to any extent to assert its control over the internet. While most experts believed that China would not risk blocking cloud services and content delivery networks for the fear of upsetting enterprises and general web users, they have now been proven wrong. Instead of relaxing online censorship, the Chinese authorities are slowly but surely increasing their grip on the content which flows through the internet.

December 27, 2014

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

5 + 5 =