One hacker known as the “Father” of China’s Great Firewall has been forced to avoid his own invention, according to local reports. The event happened during a public lecture.
Fang Binxing is said to have used a Virtual Private Network to dodge China’s firewall after he had attempted to access a website that is outside China and is hosted in South Korea. He was talking about internet security at Harbin Institute of Technology when his own censorship system denied him access to the website.
Reports from Hong Kong-based Ming Pao newspaper showed that when Fang typed in the address a warning message indicating that the website he wanted to access had been blocked was shown. In front of the audience, he turned on VPN to access the website and therefore continued his talk. The news was being extensively shared on popular Chinese social network Sina Weibo and other media, but the BBC news service could not find an iota of information about the incident in mainstream China news.
Fang, who is a member of the Chinese Communist Party, is widely seen and credited with the creation of China’s internet censorship system. Having earned a Ph.D in computer science before he lectured at the Harbin Institute of Technology. Fang eventually joined the China’s network emergency response technical team in 1999. He leads the development of China’s controversial filtering and blocking system, which people refer to as the Great Firewall of China. This is the technology that China Communist Party uses to block restricted websites in the country, such as Facebook, Twitter, and incidents such as the Tiananmen Square of 1989.
Chinese internet users have made him one of the hate figures for his creation of the Great Firewall. In 2011, he was hit by a blogger named Hanjunyi, by a shoe. The blogger revealed that she threw the shoe as a sign of her protest to online censorship. In an interview at the time with CNN, she said, “His work made me spend unnecessary money to get access to the website that is supposed to be free.”
Fang eventually resigned from his post in June 2013, citing health issues. Chinese government continually tries to shut down most Internet services and websites, but people use VPN’s allowing them to dodge the firewall. According to statistics, 29 percent Chinese internet users used VPN to get online during the last three months of 2015.