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Thread: The Great (Fire) Wall of China

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Too vague to comment on anything really until we hear about the actual implementation and who it will affect, but worst case would be a forcing the current 10 Internet gateways to use just 1 appointed gateway, with that gateway blocking everything but web traffic and outlawing the use of tools to circumvent that. That's even IF they could implement such a system (and it being one giant single point of failure) - I don't believe Thailand has the technical capability or infrastructure to even do so with the way their transit connectivity is right now (especially since you'd start seeing a lot of global companies pulling out, like with China).

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    I was wondering if proxies or VPN's would be of any use if they try to implement this... I'm not a tekkie, so I dont know... just wondering.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    I was wondering if proxies or VPN's would be of any use if they try to implement this... I'm not a tekkie, so I dont know... just wondering.
    A VPN would avoid the censorship.. What would become unavoidable due to this would be the inherent slowdowns of going through a single Thai administered gateway..

    Depending on implementation could make netflix etc all go to hell again..

    This is already covered in the 'Junta' thread but theres a few fear mongery type articles already.. How its likely to kick Thailands hope of being a 'digital hub' in the region even further into touch etc..

    Thailand?s Plan For Chinese-Style ?Great Firewall? Could Drive US Internet Giants Like Facebook, Google From Southeast Asia?s ?Land Of Smiles?

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    A VPN would avoid the censorship..
    Not if they block VPNs and make it illegal to even try and circumvent the gateway/firewall. I know there are ways of getting around a potential block, but sometimes that can still be detected - would you as an expat risk that? I wouldn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    Not if they block VPNs and make it illegal to even try and circumvent the gateway/firewall. I know there are ways of getting around a potential block, but sometimes that can still be detected - would you as an expat risk that? I wouldn't.
    Detecting and tracing VPN's is actually quite difficult. You can easily make it look like normal port 443 (HTTPS) or 22 (SSH/SCP) traffic as these protocols are encrypted to begin with, then you've got things like TOR. It can be done if you've got a central gateway and an army of highly skilled analysts but if things get that bad aren't you well past the point of worrying if getting to Xvideos or BBC News is a risk to Expats... I would have moved on years ago.

    Realistically a national firewall is difficult to do, even China with all the resources put into it hasn't got it remotely secure yet. I just cant see the Thai's doing it where every other nation has failed. Even China relies on it's reputation more than its effectiveness.

    I think this whole thing is a scheme to transfer money into private accounts, an attempt to distract the Hoi Polloi or both.
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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwx View Post
    Detecting and tracing VPN's is actually quite difficult. You can easily make it look like normal port 443 (HTTPS) or 22 (SSH/SCP) traffic as these protocols are encrypted to begin with...
    It's not that difficult (even China has recently been doing it). First off they could flat out block port 22, but even if you put it over 443 the setup of the session can look different to a normal browser session thus indicating something fishy is going on (see OpenVPN for example), let alone the fact that you just seem to always be accessing one IP to browse the web, which would set off alarm bells for them to investigate more.

    I'm not saying its impossible, but for your average expat it's an extremely big risk if they outlaw circumvention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    It's not that difficult (even China has recently been doing it). First off they could flat out block port 22, but even if you put it over 443 the setup of the session can look different to a normal browser session thus indicating something fishy is going on (see OpenVPN for example), let alone the fact that you just seem to always be accessing one IP to browse the web, which would set off alarm bells for them to investigate more.

    I'm not saying its impossible, but for your average expat it's an extremely big risk if they outlaw circumvention.
    If they cut off port 22, businesses will go nuts. Ultimately they hold the power here. However there's no way they're going to cut off the dynamic port range, too many services use it.

    But as I said, if things got that bad that they're hunting down expats over a VPN connection to watch soccer games from Europe, this will not be the first sign of impending doom by a long shot.

    Put simply, they don't have the money, manpower or inclination to do it.
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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    Not if they block VPNs and make it illegal to even try and circumvent the gateway/firewall. I know there are ways of getting around a potential block, but sometimes that can still be detected - would you as an expat risk that? I wouldn't.
    You cant block all VPNs tho.. Sure thy cant try to block some commercial services.. But theres no way they can block me routing traffic through a server I dont share with others.. At least not without reducing the internet to a total joke which would be devastating to the economy..

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjwx View Post
    It can be done if you've got a central gateway and an army of highly skilled analysts but if things get that bad aren't you well past the point of worrying if getting to Xvideos or BBC News is a risk to Expats... I would have moved on years ago.
    Thats my point.. Sure they can physically restrict all kinds of things.. But if its gone full north Korea that badly why the hell would we still be here..

    Plenty of other places to exist..

    and they dont want to screw the place up that bad.. I think..

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    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    You cant block all VPNs tho.. Sure thy cant try to block some commercial services.. But theres no way they can block me routing traffic through a server I dont share with others.. At least not without reducing the internet to a total joke which would be devastating to the economy..
    That's the point, they _could_ block you if they wanted. I said earlier blocking almost everything is a worst case scenario but I have very little faith in Thailand's ability to do anything right. I hope it doesn't go that far, but if they're intending to introduce this firewall so that they can control information and website access then it's not far fetched to believe they'll also not want people to circumvent that process.

    If they go full on stupid then yes, everything will go to shit - they don't have the technical ability or infrastructure to do it properly. I'm hoping IF it goes ahead in some shape or form that it will just be a central WEB proxy and other services will be left alone. We know now they have a filter list - but the problem is they have to manage 10 separate gateways to enforce that list, hence I do think its more likely to just be a central web proxy. It's still a bad move and will cause all sorts of problems, but it won't be as bad as say China's firewall (though given how much they love China, lets not encourage them).

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Sure they can cut the country off, isolate it in the region, destroy any kind of IT economy here, make all businesses noncompetitive, etc etc..

    But like I said.. If they have gone that far down the rabbit hole.. Anyone who hasnt got their head in the sand in total denial will be long gone..

    EDIT :: Baht over 36 to the USD.. So perhaps thats being felt..

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    Senior Member soupdragon's Avatar
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    Surely this has to go in the "Yet another half baked notion that will never be implemented" catergory.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupdragon View Post
    Surely this has to go in the "Yet another half baked notion that will never be implemented" catergory.
    And even if it doesnt.. or its implementation is a failure.. It is clearly another insight into the mindset of the leadership you support.

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    Senior Member soupdragon's Avatar
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    55555 You can't help yourself can you.

    Take your thinking one step further and ask why they think it is necessary, after all the country has been run from abroad for a long time 555555

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    I honestly dont care who supports it, my concern is more "where is this all headed?"... was having a convo with a buddy last night who just moved here... we were talking about the future and the govt here and basically I said between the k!ng's health and the military coup, the future is extremely uncertain here... which sucks as Taky still has 2.5 more years of Uni left and I really dont want to think about leaving before she finishes that.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soupdragon View Post
    55555 You can't help yourself can you.

    Take your thinking one step further and ask why they think it is necessary, after all the country has been run from abroad for a long time 555555
    Its got nothing to do with stopping communication from anywhere else, and everything to do with setting up a non free state where they can control and punish those who have different views..

    Unless of course you now think they are going to cut ALL communication with the outside world, the kind of north korea like situation everyone laughed at..

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarProfiteer View Post
    I honestly dont care who supports it, my concern is more "where is this all headed?"... was having a convo with a buddy last night who just moved here... we were talking about the future and the govt here and basically I said between the k!ng's health and the military coup, the future is extremely uncertain here... which sucks as Taky still has 2.5 more years of Uni left and I really dont want to think about leaving before she finishes that.
    Personally I am wondering if a lot of these sudden ramping up of controls are not directly related to the kings health.. its reported his daughter recently took part in rites, which are usually done for terminally ill, I guess like 'last rites' in the catholic sense.. That got reported in the NYT and then got a strong condemnation from the Thai consul general..
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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Personally I am wondering if a lot of these sudden ramping up of controls are not directly related to the kings health.. its reported his daughter recently took part in rites, which are usually done for terminally ill, I guess like 'last rites' in the catholic sense.. That got reported in the NYT and then got a strong condemnation from the Thai consul general..
    Yeah, the kings passing creates uncertainty in my mind... is there any resistance from the good princess when her brother (not a good reputation, that one) takes the throne? Does the military limit him if he does? Just wondering how it would play out...

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Not for public discussion really..
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