Google Hosted Project Helps Circumvent the Firewall in China

Created in May 2009, the foe project was an anti-censorship tool that allowed users to read news over the Internet without any form of censorship. Today, Google’s foe project has been seen as a potential tool to circumvent the Great Firewall of China.

Foe or Feed Over email has a Google code-hosting page that can be found here. The page describes this project as,

Users in Internet censored countries often find themselves unable to access foreign news websites or RSS feeds such as the ones from Voice of America, CNN, BBC, etc.
Until now, the only way users in censored countries can access these websites is to use a proxy server or install proxy software on their computer.
FOE (Feed Over Email) is a new tool that allows users to receive RSS feeds from foreign websites without the need to find a working proxy server or install any proxy software.
Technically, FOE is built on top of SMTP and work on most email servers as long as the user has access to POP3 and SMTP.

The US government has used this project to breach the firewall and information on the use of this project in the government was fetched with a Freedom of Information Act request.

This service solely depends on the fact that mail servers from outside China are allowed to communicate inside. Now that the fact has been discovered, China will probably block mail servers outside the country. This act by the US government can also be considered as cyber warfare by China. China has grown to be quite aggressive in its approach and its next move in this regard will be the gossip of the town for the next few days.

Published by

Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.