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  • Chinese Censors Thwarted by Apple's Switch to HTTPS


    Whether it was intentional or not, Apple recently made a switch to the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) internet communications protocol for the App Store. When the Cupertino California company did this, it made it impossible for censors in China to block users from searching for certain types of apps.

    Previously, searching for VPN apps, which are popular with Chinese users for allowing access outside of the firewall of China, would cause connections to the App Store to reset. This kept Chinese users from being able to download such apps if they were available in the Chinese App Store. But this is currently not the case, since HTTPS keeps the firewall from interrupting the connection to apps. The Next Web and Greatfire (a site that monitors Chinese Internet censorship) performed testing and found that certain apps blocked under HTTP are available now that HTTPS is being used to access the App Store.

    One thing that is certain here is that itís unlikely that the authoritarian government of China will allow the loophole to remain open. Itís only a matter of time before they take preventive measures to censor the content again. Weíll have to wait and see what the government does next.

    Source: CNET, Greatfire, The Next Web
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Chinese Censors Thwarted by Apple's Switch to HTTPS started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      Wow. Guess I take the simple freedoms for granted.
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      thats actually awesome. Now the Chinese can read newspapers that don't praise china.

      Its actually hilarious https can block the firewalls china has developed for decades.
    1. unison999's Avatar
      unison999 -
      This will get shut down fairly quickly, if Apple try anything like this again China will make it difficult for Apple to do business in China.
    1. shark101au's Avatar
      shark101au -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mrteacup View Post
      thats actually awesome. Now the Chinese can read newspapers that don't praise china.

      Its actually hilarious https can block the firewalls china has developed for decades.
      Decades? Hardly, the internet has barly been available to the public for 2 decades. I lived in China for 2 years and it was easy to bypass restrictions using paid proxy services. Millions of Chinese do it everyday. No surprise here and not even clsoe to being a big deal.
    1. Sk8r4life66's Avatar
      Sk8r4life66 -
      I'm never going to chine
    1. Nickothasicko's Avatar
      Nickothasicko -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sk8r4life66 View Post
      I'm never going to chine
      You mean Chime
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nickothasicko View Post
      You mean Chime
      You mean slime
    1. Nickothasicko's Avatar
      Nickothasicko -
      No, I meant Chime.
    1. bai's Avatar
      bai -
      很强很暴力的现象,在app store里搜索到一般软件都可以下载,可是搜到例如vpn one click怎么也无法下载,用了vpn之后就可以下载了,wow,好神奇啊。
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      Interesting tidbit: throughout China's distant past - each conqueror that came in - within 100 years -- adopted the Chinese philosophy. I found that interesting.. Talk about your "resistance is futile!" lol!
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      not so much 'blocking' as it's encrypted so the Chinese gov can't read it.
      It wouldn't be impossible for the Chinese gov to do SSL MITM as a condition for the traffic/apps to work in China.
      The Chinese gov is then 'guaranteeing the authenticity of the connection' -- ha ha.
    1. NewdestinyX's Avatar
      NewdestinyX -
      Quote Originally Posted by quidam_brujah View Post
      not so much 'blocking' as it's encrypted so the Chinese gov can't read it.
      It wouldn't be impossible for the Chinese gov to do SSL MITM as a condition for the traffic/apps to work in China.
      The Chinese gov is then 'guaranteeing the authenticity of the connection' -- ha ha.
      Ooo.. What a delightful irony!!