If you’d like to find out what it’s like to live behind a paranoid regime’s wall of silence download the China Channel plug-in for Firefox. This delightful product recreates the surfing experience of someone at a standard Internet-connected computer in China where searching for “Free Tibet” and “Tiananmen Square” brings you 10 minutes of dead air.
The program routes your traffic through a Chinese IP address and gives you a taste of the Great Firewall in action. Thankfully, most of these censorship systems are trivial to beat but this still leaves a certain subset of the population unable to search comfortably and safely in cyber cafes and other public access points.
Incidentally, I wonder what the Internet looks like in North Korea… oh, wait.