Postcard from... Beijing
Last week, the president of Beijing’s University of Posts and Telecommunications, Fang Binxing, stepped down over health concerns. But Fang’s departure is not likely to be widely mourned by China’s online citizenry, for this is the man who invented the loathed “Great Firewall of China”.
The Great Firewall system that he designed blocks China’s near-600 million Internet users from accessing some of the world’s most popular websites, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, while it also keeps a lid on news websites such as The New York Times and Bloomberg.
The programme was adopted by Chinese authorities in 1998 and came online around 2003, ostensibly to block access to “inappropriate” online content such as pornography, but it also blocks politically sensitive information, stopping searches which use keywords such as ‘Tibet’ and ‘Dalai Lama’.
The Great Firewall means that Internet access in mainland China can often be painfully slow when compared to neighbouring countries.
“A serious illness has made me unable to stay up working late into nights any longer. I couldn’t shoulder the dual responsibilities of doing research and administration like I did before,” he told graduates in June. Local reports cited cancer as the reason for his withdrawal.
When Fang opened a Weibo microblog on Sina.com a couple of years ago, he received nearly 10,000 messages in three hours, mostly from users lambasting him for disrupting web access for them.
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...