Great Firewall of China



Blend of Great Wall of China +‎ firewall, popularized in a 1997 issue of Wired.[1]

Proper nounEdit

the Great Firewall of China

  1. (originally humorous, derogatory) Government censorship of the Internet in the People's Republic of China.
    Synonyms: GFW (abbreviaion), Great Firewall
    • 1997, A. Michael Froomkin, “Jurisdiction in Cyberspace: The Role of Intermediaries”, in Borders in Cyberspace: Information Policy and the Global Information Infrastructure, OCLC 36126687, page 146:
      Behind this hypothetical Great Firewall of China, most users would be allowed to exchange information with foreign sites if they were on the approved list
    • 2001, Greg Walton, China's Golden Shield: Corporations and the Development of Surveillance Technology in the People's Republic of China, OCLC 49740735, page 5:
      The "Great Firewall of China" is failing, largely due to the increased volume of Internet traffic in China.
    • 2007, Dinah PoKempner, “A Shrinking Realm: Freedom of Expression Since 9/11”, in Human Rights Watch World Report 2007, →ISBN, page 76:
      The Great Firewall of China is a case of corporate collaboration in censorship.
    • 2015 March 31, Goodin, Dan, “Massive denial-of-service attack on GitHub tied to Chinese government”, in Ars Technica[1], retrieved 2015-04-01:
      The targets suggest the attackers are sympathetic to the vast censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall of China.

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ Jonathon Keats (2010) Virtual Words: Language on the Edge of Science and Technology, Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 69: “Noting this local slang, the June 1997 issue of Wired presented the newfangled Chinese internet to Western audiences with a decidedly ironic spin, introducing Great Firewall of China into the lexicon.”