China's Great Firewall "father" pelted with egg, shoes

Father of the Great Firewall of China on receiving end of egg, shoe attack

Somewhere George W. Bush might be laughing.  The BBC and others are reporting that China officials are looking for a man who allegedly threw an egg and shoes at the designer of the country's Great Firewall technology.

According the BBC, the man known as the Father of the Great Firewall, Fang Binxing  was giving a lecture at Wuhan University, Hubei province, when the alleged incident took place.  The egg missed the target. The first shoe hit but the second shoe was blocked by a man and a woman, the BBC stated.

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The Great Firewall blocks thousands of websites and all manner of incoming and outgoing communication with China and Fang is reviled by many Chinese web users for overseeing development of China's system of internet censorship, the BBC noted.

Other news of the egg/shoe pelting incident:

From the Telegraph: The unusually daring protest comes as China's leaders move to tighten internet controls following the wave of Jasmine revolutions in the Middle East, and indicated the depths of frustration felt by some young Chinese towards the censorship.  Four students apparently sought out Mr Fang as he gave a talk at the Computer Sciences Department of Wuhan University in central China, pre-arming themselves with eggs purchased for the occasion at a nearby market, according to their own account on Twitter. "I definitely hit Fang. As for whether there are pictures will depends on the two students," read a post by one of the students, @hanunyi, "I came by myself. It was not difficult to hit with my shoes but a little bit harder to target him really successfully." Two others, @zfangzhou and @yinhm, said the protest has been organized spontaneously after hearing word that Mr Fang was on the campus.

From the Atlantic Wire: Online activists, meanwhile, are celebrating the egg-and-shoe assault and Internet freedom in general at the delicately named Twitter hashtags #fuckfbx and #fuckgfw (references to Fang and the firewall), and on the Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo. There are reports that Fang's name and even the accounts of anyone tweeting about the incident have been blocked today, though others claim Fang's name was already censored. Fang's Wikipedia page, of course, has already been updated, as ChinaGeeks founder Charles Custer points out. At China's Netease portal, users offered Hanunyi and the other students involved in the incident prizes such as a luxury flat in Shanghai, Nike shoes, and "10 VPNs" (Virtual Proxy Network software used to circumvent the Great Firewall), according to The Telegraph's Peter Foster.

A recent IDG News Service story said while China become one of the world's leading Internet markets, opinion differs on its exact size, varying with the methodology used to arrive at the figure. Recently a report said pegged China's Internet users at 477 million at the end of March.  That figure suggests that China added 20 million users in a three-month period. The previous figure, estimated by the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center, put the Web populace at 457 million at the end of 2010.

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