Thursday, November 04, 2010

Ultrasurf, a solution to Internet censorship?

I received the following email from a reader today which surprised me:

Heya GB,

Hope this email find you in good spirits! I remember there was a post on your blog mentioned the issue accessing your blog in China. I am currently in Shanghai doing for a research trip and I can confirm that your blog is not accessible here. Such a shame!

However, if readers can use some software that allow connection through proxy (e.g. ultrasurf) then they will have no prob to read your blog. Maybe it is worthwhile to suggest.


The thing that amazed me is that it's possible to bypass the so called Great Firewall of China. Surely the Chinese authorities know that this is happening. If anyone can explain why they can't stop it, I'd be fascinated to know the answer!


yoshi said...

When you run filters based on allowing everything but blocking "bad" sites instead of running filters based on blocking everything but only allowing (or what we refer to as whitelisting) sites - its trivial to find ways around filters (what you are referring to as "firewall" which is inaccurate).

Managing such systems to such a degree requires a lot of effort - especially if the stuff you are trying to block is a moving target.

For example - BBC blocks anyone outside the UK from watching videos on their site. But you can get around that by going through an open "proxy" in the UK.

Looking at our filters - you aren't blocked for the usual like sexuality. My guess is that their filters are automatically blocking you because its a personal blog. I would guess that everything on is blocked by default.

piper said...

When I was in Bejing last week, all sites seemed to be blocked. Gay dating sites were accessible. A guy I talked to, said adoption is not a problem for gay couples in China. The officious 'China Daily' had a neutral/positive article discussing LGBT problems in the face of traditional Chinese family values.

So the topic does not seem to be a problem for the dictatorship. Still I hated the thought of censors watching every click I made. We must fight the efforts of populist EU politicians that love to see the web censored in the Chinese way.

Jing said...

blogspot, youtube, twitter or even wiki are all blocked by the government, but there are always methods to deal with it, proxy is pretty good