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Community Champion

Is China manipulating BGP to re-route your data through them? Probably not ...

BGP, the Border Gateway Protocol, is one of the major routing protocols used at the higher (larger geographical areas) of the Internet.  But it's got some issues.  One of them being that it can be fooled easily, even when you don't intend to fool it.

 

Some years back Pakistan got mad at Youtube, and decided to stop everyone in the country from reaching Youtube.  They did this by telling their national routers (based on BGP) that Youtube was at this non-functional address (a sort of network version of dev/null).  But BGP routers communicate with each other, and soon all the BGP routers in the world thought the fastest route to Youtube was via Pakistan.  Youtube was unreachable, worldwide, for about an hour (and longer, in some places).

 

So, recently, something similar happened with Nigeria and China.  And Google, Cloudflare, and other major online sites got routed through China for a while.  Some people noticed this, and figured that China was deliberately re-routing traffic.  This is unlikely: it was an easy fix, and got fixed quickly.

 

And besides, while re-routing Google traffic might get you some useful information, if China is re-routing Cloudflare in order to spy on the west, they deserve everything they get ...


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