HSBC Has Been Blocked in China Due To Extreme Web Censorship
Access to banking portal HSBC and potentially plenty of other websites have been blocked by China which appears is running a new censorship campaign. Also, a major conference of internet industry is just few days away from being hosted by China.
A group, called Greatfire.org, which is researching Chinese internet censorship, said that access to HSBC and EdgeCast, content delivery network which is also one of the world’s biggest, has been shut down in order to prevent a pathway to websites that are forbidden.
So called “collateral freedom mirror sites” were set up by Greatfire.org on the global cloud infrastructure having in mind that censors operating “great Firewall of China” were not able to recognize traffic to sites that were mirrored and traffic to the cloud provider.
It was a venture that China, which blocked global CDNs, would not also risk major disruption – a venture that has now lost, which resulted in “collateral damage” of blocking of back-end framework drupal.org and websites like Sony Mobile’s Chinese and even global sites.
One of the biggest world’s banks, HSBC, is making about two-thirds of its profits just in Asia alone, especially in Hong Kong. United States telecommunications company Verizon’s subsidiary EdgeCast provides services and content for web companies, including a well known Mozilla Firefox browser and the Atlantic magazine. EdgeCast also delivers cloud service to apps and sites in China.
The attacks lead to the World Internet Conference, which is going to be held in eastern Zhejiang province. World Internet Conference will happen on Wednesday and it will showcase burgeoning role of China in internet governance issues and technology. The event is organized by Cyberspace Administration which by the way is newly formed, and it is expected to draw senior industry figures and policymakers, including Baidu’s and Alibaba’s chief executives.
HSBC banking portal was shut down by Chinese authorities last month as reported by Greatfire.org, in order to block Akamai, a CDN hosting mirror websites and such. Akamai domain which is reserved for encrypted websites is used by HSBC.
HSBC has already posted a notice on their portal letting know their users that the problem is acknowledged but did not offer any details, noting that it was looking for a delivery of a prompt resolution while talking to local providers. Same notice has disappeared shortly after it was posted.
A US-based spokesman for HSBC refused to give any details or to comment as well while just saying that he was looking into it.
Greatfire.org mentioned authorities were going to suppress commerce to start a small leak compromising well over tens of thousands of visits to sites that are forbidden – a little fraction of all traffic, said Smith.
He also said that web conference was just a coincidence of timing but mentioned his hopes for authorities to explain such unexpected censorship which aims are to “promote the development of (the) internet to be the global shared resource for human solidarity and economic progress”.
Conference’s organizers have warned accredited journalists that if interactive session will not be arranged by the conference, then they should refrain from asking questions or interviewing at the scene. Also no walking about at will allowed during the meeting.
William Nee, researcher from Amnesty International China, warned that the event stressed China’s promotion of its domestic rules within the internet as a possible model for regulation globally.
Anyone that values online freedom should receive some chills down the spine. Such internet model by China is one of suppression and extreme control.
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