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GreatFire ( is a non-profit organization that monitors the status of websites censored by the Great Firewall of China[3] and helps Chinese Internet users circumvent the censorship and blockage of websites in China.[4][5] The website also hosts a testing system that allowed visitors to test in real time the accessibility of a website from various locations within China. The organization's stated mission was to "bring transparency to the Great Firewall of China."[6]

Formation 2011[1]
Type Non-profit organization[2]
Purpose Advocacy against Internet censorship in China

GreatFire has worked with BBC to make the Chinese-language BBC website available to users in China, despite it being blocked by the Great Firewall, by using a method known as collateral freedom[7] that mirrored content on widely used content delivery networks, such as Amazon CloudFront and CloudFlare, so that it would be too economically costly for censors to block.[8][9][10] The organization has since set up similar mirror sites for other blocked websites, such as Google and the New York Times, with a directory of links hosted on GitHub, which is currently not accessible in China.[11]

GreatFire has been targeted with distributed denial-of-service attacks that attempt to take down the website by overloading its servers with traffic.[12] In April 2015 it was targeted by a Chinese attack tool named Great Cannon that redirected massive amounts of Internet traffic to servers used by GreatFire.[13]

A sister site, FreeWeibo, monitors and makes available content from leading Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo that has been censored and deleted by Chinese authorities under the Great Firewall.[14]

As of April 2018, the main site of GreatFire is blocked and no longer accessible in Mainland China.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "When did launch?". Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Do you make money?". Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
  3. ^ Biggs, John (March 19, 2015). "Anti-Censorship Service Greatfire Is Under Attack". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Chinese anti-censorship group suffers massive hack". The Guardian. March 20, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ Boehler, Patrick (March 20, 2015). "Hackers Attack, a Workaround for Websites Censored in China". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Online Censorship In China - GreatFire". Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  7. ^ Robinson, David; Yu, Harlan; An, Anne. "Collateral Freedom - A Snapshot of Chinese Internet Users Circumventing Censorship" (PDF). Open Internet Tools Project. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-01. Retrieved 28 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Meyer, David (November 24, 2014). "BBC uses "collateral freedom" system to bypass Chinese censorship". GigaOM. Gigaom, Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Mark (November 25, 2014). " and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China". BetaNews. BetaNews, Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  10. ^ Newman, Lily Hay (November 25, 2014). "The BBC Is Working With a Transparency Group to Bring Uncensored News Into China". Slate. The Slate Group LLC. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  11. ^ "GitHub: greatfire/wiki". Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  12. ^ Russel, Jon (March 30, 2015). "These Activists Are Plotting To End Internet Censorship In China". TechCrunch. AOL Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ Perlroth, Nicole (April 10, 2015). "China Is Said to Use Powerful New Weapon to Censor Internet". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ "不受屏蔽的"自由微博"" [Unblocked "Free Weibo"]. Deutsche Welle (in Chinese). May 17, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2017. 

External linksEdit