Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nanny knots her knickers once again...

China's Internet censorship regime - the "Net Nanny" - is at it again.

Blogspot is still blocked. Amazon is still glitchy (the search facility is mostly operational again - but still, of course, blocked on any TAM-related queries). E-mails to and from the UK are sometimes taking 2 or 3 hours to get through!! (Is it just me? Am I under the microscope as a dangerous subversive?? Perhaps this isn't a good time to have my visa up for renewal....)

And a couple of weeks ago, Shanghai student blogger Yee got blocked. It didn't seem to bother him initially, but he's only posted once or twice since. I hope he's doing OK. Apart from the audacious and unpatriotic decision to post in English, Yee's blog was fairly unobjectionable. He's a super-Net-nerd, and writes only (though quite interestingly) about stories related to the Internet in China - popular sites, new programs, etc. Of course, that does occasionally involve hot talking points in the Chinese 'blogosphere' and observations on censorship. Perhaps it is these few posts that have incurred the ire of the government. A few months ago he popularized a 'workaround' he'd found on a Chinese blog for reconfiguring the Firefox browser to allow unfettered access to certain blocked-in-China sites such as Blogspot. I suspect just about every Blogspot blogger in the country is now using this. Perhaps that's what pissed off the authorities (although they sure took their time to decide just how pissed off they were about it).

Anyway, I hope I didn't contribute to Yee's troubles by giving him a namecheck on here a few times (I really don't believe that anyone reads this blog regularly - certainly not the Chinese censors). And I hope he'll be back in action soon.

One of his last posts (after the block was imposed), on June 5th, featured another helpful tip for sneaking behind Nanny's back: a Google proxy for mobile devices. Now, if you go via this, you only get 'simplified' mobile-readable versions of the web pages, but it's perfectly serviceable - and will enable you, for instance, to keep up with your favourite Blogspot blogs if you're not able to use the Firefox workaround at the office (Tulsa, are you listening?). Even better, although this proxy will not be able to connect you to the 'comment' pages, it does display a link which takes you straight there - something that is not possible on regular proxy services like Anonymouse.

Yee, I hope you're back in action soon. Information like this is gold dust; and I'm far too much of a Luddite ever to find this kind of stuff out for myself.

PS Since I am unable to access Yee's 'comment' pages (I can only view him via Anonymouse now), I wonder if one of my overseas readers would be kind enough to say 'hi' to him on my behalf, and leave a link to this post there for him. Thanks.


Tulsa said...

Yes. Ears wide open. Will investigate this.

earthling said...

Froog, are you TRYING to get your ear pulled by the headmaster?
I wish you would be more careful.