Internet blocking programs are inexplicably disappearing

Censors first blocked access to websites, and now someone is removing programs to bypass the blocking (photo: CC0 Public Domain)

It seems that soon there will be no programs and services left to bypass blocking to Internet resources. The number of such projects in the GitHub repository has sharply decreased, and the reasons for this remain unknown.

Anti-blocking programs are used to access sites that are prohibited for viewing in a certain country. Initially, the censors blocked unwanted sites, and now they block the means of circumventing the blocking.

Since the beginning of April 2023, more than 20 profiles dedicated to bypassing resources have been completely deleted or moved to the archive. Many of these programs are supported by Chinese developers, but there is still no reliable information whether what is happening is related to the country of origin of their authors.

Which programs are listed

As of now, the repositories of the following services have been removed from GitHub: Clash For Windows, Clash Core, GUI.for.Clash, clash-dashboard, Clash Chinese Patch, tpclash, CatBoxForAndroid, and Fclash. The same thing happened with the ClashForAndroid project, only it was removed from the Google Play app store.

All other repositories in the list have been moved to an archived state. It’s possible that this is only a temporary measure and eventually they too will be permanently removed from GitHub. The threat hangs over the projects homebridger, Clash.Meta, Clash Verge, tuic, ClashMetaForAndroid, helloworld, ShellClash, ClashCross, ClashXClashF, as well as Box4Magisk and Clash For Windows Chinese.

All of the listed services for bypassing the blocking are very famous, but in rather narrow circles, and are most often used by users from China, who in recent years have gained experience in bypassing the “Great File Wall of China”. However, some similar projects have become popular outside of China, such as Shadowsocks.

Shadowsocks is a very effective blocking bypass protocol created in 2012 by a Chinese user under the alias clowwindy. In 2015, he was forced to delete the project’s GitHub repository under pressure from the Chinese police and abandon further work on it.

Maybe this is just the beginning

What happened almost nine years ago with Shadowsocks, and in November 2023 befell several dozen other services to circumvent the blocking, could happen again. Such a scenario cannot be ruled out.

As an example, the V2Ray project, once popular in its segment, can be cited. Its author seemed to have sunk – he suddenly disappeared from all radars, ceasing to appear not only on GitHub, but also on all other platforms, including social networks.

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