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Old 06-09-06, 01:45 PM   #1
gbcb
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A short rant

<rant>I'd just like to say that the Chinese government is really pissing me off right now. Neither of my email accounts (GMail and a Canadian university account) have been accessible in China for most of the last 24 hours. </rant>

Fortunately, BikeForums has not yet been noticed by the Chinese Net Nanny. Hopefully, this rant won't change that.

Some background: http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6081031.html
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Old 06-09-06, 01:47 PM   #2
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Does China ban all of Google? and gmail because of that?
Or do they just do widespread bans?
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Old 06-09-06, 02:10 PM   #3
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It's really hard to tell what they're up to. I seem to be able to get to www.gmail.com, but the minute that redirects to a google.com server everything stops. There have been times in the past week when I couldn't get to www.gmail.com, but could get to mail.google.com. Now everything seems dead.

They'll do other tricky things -- like you can get to www.bbc.co.uk, but not news.bbc.co.uk. And sometimes they block sites based on words within the page or URL, but other pages on the same server will be fine. That's why lots of China blogs (like the excellent Imagethief at http://news.imagethief.com/) use abbreviations and shorthand for certain senstitive phrases. Things like FLG instead of outright naming the controversial religious group. Technically, the whole thing is quite impressive. In practice, it's extremely annoying. It's also far too late, and I need to go to sleep.
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Old 06-09-06, 02:25 PM   #4
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Heh yeah. If you look at the grand scale it is quite impressive butt annoying.
Good night. You should invest a bit of money in an overseas shell or a proxy so you can route blocked traffic
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Old 06-09-06, 02:46 PM   #5
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I think they have a few more years. As a whole they are just entering the revolution that we had a long long time. It's going to take a bit of time. Also as a whole Chinese are a whole lot more more disciplined then the average American or pretty much most non-Oriental people i know.
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Old 06-09-06, 09:50 PM   #6
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I dunno, sometimes I'm not so sure that a huge change is right around the corner. The Chinese government is many things, but it is not stupid. The people in control are interested above all in staying in control, and are very good at giving away just enough to keep people content without releasing any real power. They're ideologically bankrupt (though they do keep the trappings of communism with hammers and sickles and the like), but are able to turn to easy fixes like nationalist drum-beating to rally people behind them. That way, someone who opposes the government carries the risk of being seen as anti-patriotic. In the recently introduced (and bizarre) "8 Honours and 8 Shames" propaganda campaign, the first honour is "The honour of fiercely loving the motherland", and the first shame is "The shame of harming the motherland". Of course, they don't say what "harming" means, which leaves a lot of room for government interpretation.

On the other hand, I think it's true to say that even with the annoying internet restrictions, a censored media, a corrupt government and huge social inequalities, most mainland Chinese people today are better off than they've ever been in the past. I think it's also true to say that most people are more "free" now than they've been in the past. Internet restrictions are annoying for me as a foreigner in China, but for many Chinese people, access to the internet in any way represents a step forward in the ability to share information. Also, most Chinese internet users use websites based in China, and are therefore unaffected by problems connecting to the internet outside the country. If you've had no freedom in the past, a little bit is a big thing. It's just hard to escape the thought that what freedoms exist are only there to placate the people.

EDIT: As for proxies, I usually just go with a web-based anonymisation service like anonymouse.org or nomorelimits.net. Paying for a proxy means less money for bike parts!
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