Saturday, 27 March 2010

This blog can no longer be seen in China. Can yours?

In January 2010 Open Net Initiative reported that more than half a billion Internet users are being filtered worldwide:

So, just how many people are censored online around the world? We have estimated a number based on the number of Internet users that reside in countries which practice substantial filtering--in terms of the number of sites and/or type of content blocked. The number we have come up with is 563,018,414, or approximately 32% of all Internet users.

This is the international censorship club Prime Minister Rudd and Communications Minister Conroy want Australia to join?

Because North Coast Voices is hosted by Google's and, Google is currently in dispute with the Chinese Government, it appears that we may be blocked by government censors in China.
Although we only had occasional visitors from mainland China it is still disappointing to find that we appear to be inaccessible now.

Google reports via its Mainland China service availability site:

This page offers a summary of Google service accessibility from within mainland China. The status is determined at the level of the service and may not reflect individual experiences. Unless otherwise noted, this status information applies to consumer services as well as services for organizations using Google.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society (Harvard University) Herdict states that:

  • China has 10,212 reports of inaccessible sites (1,550 are unique)
  • China has 5,478 reports of accessible sites (1,822 are unique)
  • China is ranked 1 in number of reports.
Currently listed as predominately inaccessible in that country are Internet websites such as Scribd, The Huffington Post, BBC and the search engine Bing, along with Twitter and email services Gmail and Hotmail.

Herdict graph of Blogger access in China

In January 2010 Open Net Initiative reported on Chinese search engines; Foreign visitors to Baidu are not exempt from the blocking: If a search contains blocked phrases, Baidu will lock the user out of the search engine for five minutes. A search for the term Google returns normal results, while a search for the URL of the Google blog brings about a lockout (warning: you will actually be barred from Baidu for five minutes). The same scenario occurred when searching on QQ, Sogou, and

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