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Re: Practical advice regarding Beijing Olympics and Tor ?

On Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 01:24:21AM +0100, torist@xxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Does anyone have any practical advice for visitors to the Beijing 
> Olympics next month, regarding the use of Tor ?
> There are reports of all kinds of security clampdowns, specifically 
> on the Chinese internet infrastructure  e.g.
> China: Locking down IDC server rooms for the Olympics
> http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2008/07/15/china-locking-
> down-idc-server-rooms-for-the-olympics/
> 1) Is Hong Kong's internet infrastructure also being subjected to 
> the same level of extra state control during the Olympics ?

Hong Kong is outside the chinese firewall. There is no filtering I am 
aware of. The hostspots at the airport are free to use now, AFAIK.

For your other points I don't really know the answers. I have 
been briefly using the internet in Beijing through residential cable, 
but that was 2.5 years ago.

Basically if something isn't blocked then just go ahead :) It's 
quite the opposite of what the government tries to instill into the 
people but if you're a tourist you're unlikely to get into real 
trouble in any case. Worstcase scenario would be to get arrested and 
kicked out of the country. But that would require some strong political 
display in public.

I used ssh and openvpn back then. I had some trouble with openvpn so I 
tunneled it through ssh and didn't investigate any further for those few 
days. Maybe because I was using tcp mode... In general I hear vpns 
are quite painless these days. So, if you experienced problems using tor 
you could route it through a vpn/ssh tunnel to your computer at home or 
to a commercial provider. 

End of 2005 is was very difficult to find an internet cafe, though. That 
was some time after their crackdown. After a long taxi ride to an outer 
part of the city, probably next to a university, we found one. But 
'guards' were patrolling around to ensure highest ethical conduct ;)
I wonder what the situation is like today.

Tell us upon your return should you experience something tinteresting 
(tor/net related).
> 2) Is it possible to download the Tor/Vidalia bundle safely within 
> China ? Are the usual main distribution websites blocked ? Do you 
> have to try to smuggle it in across the border ?
> 3) Is it unsafe to let your Tor client connect to any Tor 
> directory,  entry or exit nodes within China itself, once you are 
> physically in the country ?
> 5) What is the best practical way, right now, to avoid making  
> connections to Tor directory , entry  or exit nodes physically 
> within China ? 
> regards
> Torist