[ISN] Dissidents Hack Holes in China's New Wall

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Mon Jan 04 1999 - 17:42:09 PST

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    Monday, January 4, 1999
    By MAGGIE FARLEY, Times Staff Writer
    Dissidents Hack Holes in China's New Wall 
    Electronic guerrillas breach blocks set up by the government to keep
    citizens from seeing unorthodox news and opinions on the Internet. 
    SHANGHAI--The land that brought the world the Great Wall has built a new
    barrier on its ultimate frontier. This shield, like its predecessor, is
    designed to repel invaders and protect China from their foreign ideas. 
         Dubbed "the Great Chinese Firewall," it is a series of Internet
    blocks and filters meant to stop Chinese citizens from seeing online news
    and opinions that differ from the government's political line. But just as
    the miles of mud and stone erected centuries ago failed to keep China's
    citizens in and invaders out, this cyber-barrier is being breached by a
    new generation of computer experts. 
         They call themselves "hacktivists," electronic guerrillas with
    political agendas ranging from ending censorship to outright sabotage. 
         With names such as Bronc Buster, Cult of the Dead Cow and the Hong
    Kong Blondes, they sound more like rock bands than enemies of the people.
    But the Chinese government is taking them seriously. 
         They claim to have defaced government Web sites, torn down firewalls
    and disabled a satellite, and to possess the tools to infiltrate
    government computer networks. They have linked up with political
         "We are computer experts, and above that we like the concept of free
    speech," said the Chinese editor of VIP Reference, an electronic magazine
    based in Washington that is e-mailed into China. The Chinese-born editor
    uses the English alias Richard Long to protect his family back on the
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