In 2015

The mirror sites created by Reporters Without Borders in 2015

  1. Grani.ru, blocked in Russia, is now available at https://gr1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  2. Fergananews.com blocked in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, is now available at https://fg1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  3. The Tibet Post International, blocked in China, is now available at https://tp1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  4. Dan Lam Bao, blocked in Vietnam, is now available at https://dlb1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  5. Mingjing News, blocked in China, is now available at https://mn1.global.ssl.fastly.net/news/main.html
  6. Hablemos Press, blocked in Cuba, is now available at https://hp1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  7. Gooya News, blocked in Iran, is now available at https://gn1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  8. Gulf Centre for Human Rights, blocked in United Arab Emirates, is now available at https://gc1.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  9. Bahrain Mirror, blocked in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, is now available at https://bahrainmirror.global.ssl.fastly.net/
  10. Vietnam Thoi Bao, blocked in Vietnam is available at https://d1s66ldlhegqs2.cloudfront.net
  11. Chronicles of Turkmenistan, blocked in Turkmenistan is available at https://ctm1.global.ssl.fastly.net/

 

Collateral Freedom #1

Since Collateral Freedom’s launch on 12 March 2015, RSF’s servers have accepted more than 64 million requests and have provided more than 587 gigabytes of data. The operation’s success during the first few days forced RSF to increase the capacity of its servers into order to absorb the massive traffic influx.

Since then, RSF has created other mirrors and is using new hosting services. This makes it possible to circulate a new website address if a country takes the decision to block access to all the services of an Internet company such as Fastly, Amazon, Microsoft and Google. A constantly updated list of the mirrors and the services being used is available at github.com.

 

Mirror sites

Number of requests/day (average)

Total requests/period

Grani.ru

155K

55M

Gooya News

9K

3M

Dan Lam Bao

4K

1M

Mingjing News

4K

1M

Tibet Post International

691

247K

Ferghana.com

2K

752K

Bahrain Mirror

2K

702K

Gulf Center for Human Rights

328

117K

Hablemos Press

154

55K

IJAVN

2K

708K

Chrono-™

936

9K

 

Censorship in China – Great Cannon after Great Firewall

Collateral Freedom’s name was never so well chosen. A few days after the operation got under way, the Chinese authorities blocked access to the entire content delivery network of Fastly, one of the companies used by RSF for its mirror sites. Many of Fastly’s clients were affected. But instead of reconsidering its contract with RSF, Fastly supported the operation and provided RSF with the necessary bandwidth.

GreatFire.org, the non-profit organization that devised the tools used by RSF for this operation, was itself the target of massive cyber-attacks from 17 March onwards. GitHub, the site that hosts GreatFire’s tools, came under attack on 26 March. The company described it as “the largest DDoS attack in github.com’s history.”

After investigating for several days, GreatFire identified the source of the attacks – the Chinese authorities. “Based on the technical forensic evidence provided above and the detailed research that has been done on the GitHub attack, we can now confidently conclude that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is responsible for both of these attacks,” GreatFire said.

This has been confirmed by Citizen Lab, a Canadian research institute specializing in cyber-attacks. In a report released on 10 April, Citizen Lab gave a name to the tool used by the Chinese authorities – “Great Cannon.” In addition to its Great Firewall, which imposes a relentless censorship on the Chinese Internet, the government now also has offensive weapons that allow it to attack and neutralize websites located outside China.