Fang Binxing was forced to use a VPN to circumvent the Great Firewall of China Photograph: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The Father of China s internet censorship infrastructure, known as the Great Firewall of China, has been caught having to circumvent his own creation after attempting to display a website during a talk at the Harbin Institute of Technology in the Heilongjiang province of China.

According to local reports, Fang Binxing attempted to display a South Korea website, which he said showed the views of South Koreans attempting to build similar infrastructure to China s firewall, but was blocked by said censorship system.

Fang then had to resort to setting up a virtual private network VPN to circumvent the censorship, in full view of the lecture attendees, to display the site.

Using VPNs to effectively make a tunnel through the Great Firewall of China to the outside internet world is a common, but frowned upon, practice used by many within China wishing to access western sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The UK also operates a system of censorship through court-ordered blocks of piracy sites by internet service providers, including the notorious Pirate Bay, which requires users to employ similar techniques such as VPNs to access.

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