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The Great Firewall of China is a term used to refer to the infrastructure of the Chinese leadership in controlling web traffic within the country. It is a play on words based on the renowned Great Wall of China, the massive structure built to protect the Northern edges of the kingdom from invaders.
In actuality, the Great Firewall of China is more than just a firewall; it reflects the country's political philosophy and strategic controls on the World Wide Web.
Many attribute the development of China's modern cybersecurity and protective technologies to the leadership of Xi Jinping, the current leader of China. Some mark the beginning of the Great Firewall of China as a ministry of public security project in 2003.
In China, many of the most popular sites used by Americans and others around the world are completely blocked by this Great Firewall of China and related technologies that seal out unwanted online activity from Chinese networks.
The Guardian, in describing this ambitious project, cites the assertion by Chinese leaders that the real world and the virtual world should be the same, and reflect the same values.
The Great Firewall of China remains perhaps the foremost example of national protectionism when it comes to the Internet and a radical departure from how the Internet is regulated in most other parts of the world.