June 28th of this year, Shenzhen police detained a man for selling routers. The man was in detention for 27 days before he was officially arrested on July 25. According to the police, the suspect made millions of RMB selling routers capable of tunneling through China’s Great Firewall (GFW), allowing the users of the router to access blocked internet sites like Facebook and Twitter.
China is known for its censorship of free speech. It used to be that sensitive contents are quickly removed from internet sites and western social media sites are blocked from within China. However, if someone had the technical knowhow, it wasn’t hard to tunnel through to the outside world, called “climbing a ladder”. In recent years, things have gotten worse. People are getting arrested for viewing content on Youtube or liking a post on Instagram. Now, apparently the government is going after the businesses that are profiting from providing the tools for getting through the GFW.
When the news got out, netizens in China responded with sarcasm.
One comment reads “It is illegal to know the outside world”.
Another one says “why is the government so scared? We only want to chance to get into an argument with foreigners.”