How the Solution Works

The Chart below shows how the anti-censorship system works:

Cyber Information Control - China Great FireWall

Censored users (1) use circumvention client software (2) on their computers to connect to circumvention tunnels (4), usually with the help of a tunnel discovery agent (3). Once connected to a circumvention tunnel, a user’s network traffic will be encrypted by the tunnels and penetrate the GFW (7) without being detected by the censors (6). On the other side of the GFW, the network traffic will enter a circumvention support network (8) set up and operated by anti-censorship supporters (9). The computers, sometimes called nodes, in the circumvention support network act as proxies to access content from the unobstructed Internet (10) and send the information back, not necessarily taking the same route, to the censored user’s computer.

Initially if a censored user knows nothing about the other side of the GFW, it is necessary to get them bootstrapped by employing out-of-band communication channels (5). Such channels include emails, telephone calls, instant messages, and mailing of CD-ROMs. Sometime users can also take advantage of these channels to locate circumvention tunnels (4), if the client software in use does not have a tunnel discovery agent (3).