There are multiple ways to bypass the Chinese Firewall, using VPN, anonymous browsers or Tor. But I prefer to use the most simple way, which for me is using an ssh tunnel.
host:~user$ ssh -D 8888 firstname.lastname@example.org
(There is also a nice GUI for those who are not familiar with the command line.)
Then I configure my system preferences to use the socks proxy on 127.0.0.1:8888, which can also be done in Firefox Network settings. (see screenshots)
As the Chinese Government also tries to block external sites, such as Youtube and Openleaks, by filtering DNS requests, it’s necessary to filter this too. One could e.g. point them to 127.0.0.1 (in system preferences) and then send through another ssh tunnel:
“The Washington Post” and “der Standard” have reported today, that chinese hackers have tried to break into tibetan activist organisations networks and computers to steal encryption keys. Encryption keys are used to sign and encrypt electronic messages like E-Mails. China operates the world’s largest and most restrictive “Firewall” to censor internet communication and obscure information. Further it is known that in China a certain hacker group called “Titan Rain”, that is most probably financed and supported by the chinese government has been attacking the Pentagon and the german “chancelor house. Many tibetan organisations and activists notice a higher amount on suspect trojans and viruses. But thanks to the operation of Free Software such as the GNU/Linux operation system and Free Sowftware applications, such as GnuPG for encryption and the Tor Project for anonymous internet, the damage has been kept low.
I urge tibetan activists, journalists and news reporters to use encryption technology to secure and assure internet communication. To bypass the chinese firewall (e.g. to access the internet from Lhasa) it is most advisable to use Tor or similar anonymiser software. (see my blog post from the 18th of march 2008).
“It’s not just YouTube that’s blocked in China. After the unrest in Tibet, at least 25 video sharing sites have been shut down and others have been penalized. While the Chinese government is not admitting that violence in Tibet had anything to do with it, they do have a sudden interest in strictly enforcing licensing restrictions that require video sharing websites to register with the government. Among other things, Chinese video sharing sites must promise not to show videos that inspire fear, contain pornography, or endanger national security.”