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How A “Grass Mud Horse” Leapt Over China’s Great Internet Firewall

China’s imaginary animal that’s actually both a filthy play on words, and a symbol of internet freedom

image via (cc) flickr user andy-li

The barrier surrounding China’s state-run internet services is the stuff of legend: A multi-layered “great firewall” designed to exert near-total control over what goes in, and out, of that country’s computer networks. While China credits its restrictions on internet giants like Google and Twitter as having created the necessary vacuum in which that country’s own crop of tech juggernauts—web portals like Alibaba, and Baidu—could grow into the market successes they are today, the cumulative effect of China’s “great firewall” is that digital information is policed on a scale unlike anywhere else on Earth.

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