Friday, May 15, 2009

all blogger blogs blocked in china

Update 5/18/09: After hearing two positive recommendations from individuals I trust, I've invested $40 for a year of Witopia private VPN. So I'm now able to read and post to my blog like normal, as well as access all sorts of other sensitive content (including news and video) during a time in which, apparently, China will consistently ratchet up its internet censorship.

Of course, me having access is nice for me, but does nothing to address the greater issue of working towards greater information and media transparency here within China (including the issue of how to make the content of this blog available to people without VPNs or proxies). But this is a topic for another time.

All blogger-based blogs (e.g. everything that ends in are currently blocked in China. This includes this blog. I'm posting this using the Tor proxy.

Also, Youtube has been blocked for perhaps a month or more.

My guess is - assuming they are lifted at all - that these blocks will not be lifted until after a certain sensitive date early next month.

Until then, I will post as I can and try to stay connected. I need to upgrade my circumvention methodology...I've been using Tor off and on for a couple of years but it seems to get slower and slower. Even now I have very limited functionality because the entire page isn't loading. In any case, if anyone has any advice on reliable and preferably free ways to get around the GFW, I'd appreciate it if you would contact me.

China can be a very frustrating place. To any of you out there who are reading this in a country that doesn't unpredictably and deliberately stifle the free flow of ideas because of a constitutionally-guaranteed (and court-supported) right to free speech, I invite you to pause for a moment to appreciate that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this info. I just found to my great annoyance that my two blogspot-based blogs are being blocked, and after googling for info came across your fresh posting.

I am posting this from a Starbucks not far from where you are (assuming you are in Beijing), and am getting through the firewall by using a reliable and fairly cheap ($5.95 per month) VPN service called "GoTrusted". It has proven quite reliable, although at times a bit slow.

I am really pissed, because I am currently using one of my blogs to post some customized tutoring materials for some local elementary school kids and posting it on one of my blogs. Now I have to find some alternate site to post it on.

flyingfish said...

Let's hear it for VPN and the First Amendment!

Rob said...

After the clearest April in 9 years, maybe China is just trying to "clear the air" for this May?

Even more strange is that, after being blocked for ages (then unblocked), remains unblocked.

I would suggest this might be part of a longer-term strategy to make it difficult generally to blog on foreign websites, and could even be a state-induced promotion of domestic blogging sites? Either way, I wouldn't be surprised if they keep switching back and forth between major foreign blogging portals, just to keep us on our toes, and perhaps on Chinese websites instead.

Why not open a blog on a Chinese site? It's guaranteed never to get blocked by the national firewall -- you just risk you annoying somebody and getting tossed off the site. I'm not sure which risk is greater.

Anyway, I'm posting using Witopia now, $40 a year is a real bargain, it's fast and reliable.

Good luck...

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