Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Backdoor ajar

Small joy that I've found a free service that opens the door closed to the Blogspot/Blogger domain by the authorities here in Mainland China. For a nominal fee I could subscribe to a proxy/VPN which would open up the door completely, allowing me to post photos & videos of my goings on here on sites such as YouTube & Blogger. For now (but, for how long?) Facebook will have to suffice. A host of other websites are also blocked - some again, some for the first time. provides a reporting service on sites blocked around the world, though is itself blocked from time to time in China. Country report figures change frequently, but China regularly wins top prize for number of inaccessible sites.

While this strategy of blacklisting & blocking 'objectionable' content may seemingly be in the 'best' interest of the ruling elite, its ultimate effect is the dumbing down of the increasingly educated masses. The cat and mouse game of bypassing China's NetNanny, aka the Great Fire Wall (GFW), may not appeal to many, but it will make for smarter hackers and rouse the curiosity of true thinkers. Great social injustice is being served up either in the name of keeping competition out (YouTube vs. Youku) or in the endeavour to close minds up (T-words).

I've had to remove more than half of my Google Reader subscriptions because they are from the Blogspot domain. In a previous crackdown on Blogspot, Google Reader subscriptions were still viewable. This time Google Reader froze up until I removed all Blogspot subscriptions. I saved all those 'offending' blogs, by exporting my subscriptions to an OPML file, in anticipation of being free to view them again somewhere, someday.

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