The Firefox add-on China Channel offers internet user outside China to surf the web as if they were in China. Take an unforgetable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by western companies). It's open source, free and easy.
The installation has been on show at the group exhibition "SECOND LIFE" at Videtage Hong Kong 6.10.-4.11.2008
Web 2.0 is a gallery installation consisting of two internet enabled computers, a hacked mouse and keyboard, and a custom plugin for the popular (and free) Firefox web browser. Two computers are connected to a single keyboard and mouse allowing visitors to control both identical machines at the same time while using just a single input device. The only difference between the two internet terminals is their network connection; one machine is connected to the less restricted internet in Hong Kong, while the other is connected to the internet through a connection point in the mainland of China.
Unlike many tools which enable Chinese people to freely surf the web via connections to computers outside of China, this plugin routes all internet traffic to computers on the inside of the Chinese firewall, allowing web surfers to experience an Internet identical to that of Chinese.
The internet is often seen as the borderless, global, everybody connecting, democratic network. But in fact the internet is not the same for everybody, not talking about the people without access. State borders and filtering depending on the country you are living in has become standard in the recent years. In example: Due to copyright issues certain music or TV cast services are only available for the country they are broadcasted in. Have you ever tried to watch BBC HD content not surfing from Great Britain or listening to Pandora music outside of US? But this trivial compared to certain countries in the world who pratice heavy political internet censorship.
States like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Vietnam, Tunesia and in big scale China do strict political internet censorship by blocking IP adresses and by dynamic content filters. User in these countries are not able to access regime critical information. Especially China blocking off 1,3 billion inhabitants censors the internet with the support of western technology companies as Cisco, Yahoo or Google. (### citation needed) The Golden Shield Project (sometimes referred to as the the Great Fire Wall of China), censors content primarily by blocking IP addresses. The Internet police in China is estimated to contain over 30,000 workers, and is responsible for blocking content such as Tibetan independence, Taiwan independence, police brutality, the Tienanmen Square protests of 1989, freedom of speech, democracy, religion, and some international news.Just try yourself and see what it is like to surf the web from China.
More information on internet censorship at
China Channel was developed by
Our intention with the China Channel add-on was simply to help lower the technical barrier to surfing the Chinese internet. There are several projects done previously that have done a great deal in relation to internet filtering or the Chinese Firewall issue e.g.:
For people that are interested in dealing with the much more serious issue of reaching the non-Chinese internet from within China please see