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We should dig up Nixon and send him over again to fix this
February 28, 2007 12:00 PM   Subscribe

The Great Firewall of China connects to a server within China, and lets you know if your site is blocked or not, per the government's internet censorship.
posted by mathowie (66 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
btw, MetaFilter.com is blocked in China
posted by mathowie at 12:01 PM on February 28, 2007


Wow, my department's site is blocked. I had no idea we were so subversive!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:06 PM on February 28, 2007


I can't find anything that I'm associated with (other than MetaFilter) that's blocked. Actually, that's kind of a letdown.
posted by gurple at 12:08 PM on February 28, 2007


Oho! I spoke too soon! This is blocked. Interesting.
posted by gurple at 12:12 PM on February 28, 2007


My site's blocked, but I knew that already.
posted by chunking express at 12:13 PM on February 28, 2007


I wonder how they determine whether or not to block a site. The sites I use to post pictures of my kids for friends and family are both blocked, despite the fact that the sites aren't linked from anywhere and nobody outside the intended audience even knows the URLs. Makes me think that the default might be to block sites, and that someone has to manually unblock them.
posted by nixxon at 12:13 PM on February 28, 2007


It looks like all my sites are blocked. VRBO® is not.
posted by taosbat at 12:16 PM on February 28, 2007


My site is blocked, too. Must be the Soylent graphic.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:18 PM on February 28, 2007


Wouldn't it be cheaper to just set up a sweatshop in China with actual people attempting to access the pages?
posted by graventy at 12:19 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of my URLs is blocked, which is funny because the subdomain it points to isn't. Then again, that URL has existed for a while.
posted by brundlefly at 12:24 PM on February 28, 2007


Interesting tidbit: some Trotskyist websites that I checked (marxist.com, socialistaction.org, icl-fi.org) are blocked, while others (socialistworker.org, wsws.org, socialism.com) are not, and it's not relative to size or influence; Socialist Worker and WSWS are much more read than Socialist Action or Workers Vanguard (icl-fi.org). Dunno why that is.
posted by graymouser at 12:25 PM on February 28, 2007


(longer than the subdomain that is)
posted by brundlefly at 12:26 PM on February 28, 2007


Sweet, my site isn't blocked. So the Chinese can feel free to wonder why the hell I haven't blogged in so long. Also, they can find out what happened to the folks from Temptation Island Australia.
posted by antifuse at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2007


My site was blocked. 5 minutes later it was available. That's good. My potential audience has just increased by a billion. Time to get Google Adsense working.
posted by chillmost at 12:29 PM on February 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


Every domain I manage is blocked.

Was it something I said?

Man, it even says right on my site: "Readers who may be subject to access surveillance or content filtering please be advised that these works of fiction contain profanity and describe adult situations, but are relatively free of political subversion."

I mean, isn't that clear enough?
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 12:31 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


<tinfoil hat>
Sneaky. They get you to "test" all the vaguely subversive sites you can think of. Then they update their firewall accordingly.
</tinfoil hat>
posted by juv3nal at 12:33 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/ comes back "Can't Find URL."
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on February 28, 2007


My site is not blocked, and I don't believe it to be particularly subversive but then again I only get about 50 visitors a day so maybe the Party just hasn't noticed it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:40 PM on February 28, 2007


my site is so available, but I already knew that actually.
posted by parmanparman at 12:41 PM on February 28, 2007


http://www.greatfirewallofchina.org/ comes back "Can't Find URL."

Are you in China?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:43 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can anyone vouch for the legitimacy of this?
posted by edgeways at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2007


Interesting tidbit: some Trotskyist websites that I checked (marxist.com, socialistaction.org, icl-fi.org) are blocked

Abiezer had some thoughts on that on MoFi.
posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on February 28, 2007


Holy crap; my site's blocked! How the Hell am I gonna sell subversive English-language t-shirts and bumper stickers to the Chinese?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:48 PM on February 28, 2007


Can anyone vouch for the legitimacy of this?

It's registered to some Chinese guy in Amsterdam.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:50 PM on February 28, 2007


It's registered to some Chinese guy in Amsterdam:
well I won't call shenanigans, but the almost randomness of site blocking is a little befuddling. It blocks my small site hosted on a very small server, but my wife's art selling site on a much larger server is ok.
posted by edgeways at 12:55 PM on February 28, 2007


I also knew that my little family-and-travel-pictures site was blocked. I suspect nixxon may be right.

Dig him up!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:08 PM on February 28, 2007


I'm celebrating my newfound blockage on my website. Feel free to steal the little graphic and use it if you want.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:08 PM on February 28, 2007


My employer's site is supposedly blocked, which doesn't make sense as I received an email from China the other that was sent via a web-based contact page.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2007


...the other day.... that is
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 1:11 PM on February 28, 2007


My art gallery is blocked. Must be the nudes.
posted by o2b at 1:15 PM on February 28, 2007


Now how is it that Abiezer posts regularly here from Beijing?
posted by Wolof at 1:19 PM on February 28, 2007


Now how is it that Abiezer posts regularly here from Beijing?

You can take the Metafilter out of China, but you can't take the China out of Metafilter.
posted by cortex at 1:24 PM on February 28, 2007


No GWB for China.

Lucky bastards.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:26 PM on February 28, 2007


Apparently, http://www.china.org.cn/, an official government website, is also blocked. This is bogus.
posted by limon at 1:26 PM on February 28, 2007


他妈的美国佬!怎敢破我们的防火墙?
Amusingly, the greatfirewall site isn't blocked either. TBH they barely care about things in English (bar a few obvious biggies (BBC, Wiki etc) and exile Tibetans and the like). It would be nice to get GoogleVideo though, if anyone has any contacts with them. They keyword filtering can be weird at times too, especially if it's making your email crap out.
posted by Abiezer at 1:28 PM on February 28, 2007


Stop the War Coalition blocked, Socialist Worker not blocked, antiwar.com and the very anti-CCP lewrockwell.com NOT blocked!
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:30 PM on February 28, 2007


Oddly enough, my site howtogetaroundthegreatfirewallofchinaoratleasthelpjoinintheoverthrowofthechinesegovernment.com

is not blocked.

But my other site

Ilovemesomemao.com is.

It seems so... arbitrary.
posted by drezdn at 1:33 PM on February 28, 2007


I was disappointed when the "Click here to view in China" link did not immediately transport me to Beijing.
posted by steef at 1:33 PM on February 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


It says that it blocks Zombo.com. But with Zombo, all things are possible.
posted by klangklangston at 1:35 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also, sometimes I find I'm blocked because server admins are blacking Chinese IP addresses to avoid spam, which I hit about as often as the government censorship.
Lots of .mil stuff is blocked too, trying to think what else. Plus it's half five in the morning here and I've made barely any progress with this book. Maybe I should phone the authorities and request more web blocking for the sake of my poor publisher.
posted by Abiezer at 1:36 PM on February 28, 2007


The Whitehouse site is working, so it looks fairly useless - hey, so does your government!
posted by Abiezer at 1:38 PM on February 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


This isn't blocked either.
posted by Abiezer at 1:40 PM on February 28, 2007


OH BURN
posted by cortex at 1:40 PM on February 28, 2007


The great firewall of China is one of the few network infrastructures clearly visible from cyberspace.
posted by samsara at 1:52 PM on February 28, 2007 [5 favorites]


This seems to be an art project. Due to the interactiveness of the service, tracking down the IP address of the computer used as the proxy for checking in China would not be very difficult for the censors, if this project gets their attention. According to the web site they use only a single server in China for checking, which could skew the results if the censorwall behaves differently depending on past requests by the proxy server.
posted by ltl at 2:23 PM on February 28, 2007


Meanwhile, in the US: DHS Already Mining Private Data from Citizens?
posted by homunculus at 2:26 PM on February 28, 2007


I stuck in one of my sites whilst watching the logs, and got the following:-

80.69.74.240 - - [28/Feb/2007:22:20:54 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 461
218.30.114.25 - - [28/Feb/2007:22:21:06 +0000] "GET / HTTP/1.0" 200 446

The first IP seems to be a colo provider in NL, whilst the second address is definitely in China.

I've done this manually before, by looking for open proxies in China and then testing sites through them. It's quite odd how suddenly the connection goes dead.
posted by robzster1977 at 2:39 PM on February 28, 2007


So Metafilter is blocked, yet the Freep is not?
posted by caddis at 2:41 PM on February 28, 2007


And yet ask.metafilter.com is not blocked!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 2:44 PM on February 28, 2007



I wonder how they determine whether or not to block a site.


Im sure its 99% machine logic based on keywords with some fine tuning by hand. Although I'm sure there will be no shortage of bloggers with the terms 'free tibet' somewhere on their website feeling suddenly more important than they really are.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:49 PM on February 28, 2007


I think it's interesting that, as far as I can tell, my local newspaper isn't blocked, except for the pictures.
posted by serazin at 2:55 PM on February 28, 2007


I just got back from China and MetaFilter is not blocked.
posted by mss at 2:57 PM on February 28, 2007


serazin: This is because the proxy is configured to strip out images from the result page, not because the images are blocked by the firewall.
posted by ltl at 3:17 PM on February 28, 2007


Sometimes my employer's site is showing up as blocked, sometimes it is showing up as available. Methinks this greatfirewallofchina site is fucked.
posted by Afroblanco at 4:13 PM on February 28, 2007


My site is not blocked, but it's not like if people in China really want to know what the responses are after calling every 867-5309.
posted by daninnj at 4:18 PM on February 28, 2007


The FRONTLINE main page is available, but The Tank Man is not.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:24 PM on February 28, 2007


We attempted to run an online survey within China a couple of years back - when we tested, the packet loss was sporadic. Sometimes it would get through, but most times we experienced 100% loss - basically making the whole exercise impossible (using the means we then had available).
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:45 PM on February 28, 2007


I used to use this Harvard site to check if sites were blocked, but it appears to be down now.

And to set the record straight as far as I know metafilter has nevervbeen blocked in China.
posted by afu at 6:34 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just got back from China and MetaFilter is not blocked.
posted by mss 3 ¾ hours ago


Hmmm, business travel is likely to take me to China this year. I see a research project in the offing.
posted by caddis at 6:41 PM on February 28, 2007


Blockages often vary from network to network, or even more randomly -- here in Beijing, I've often had some sites not come up at work but load fine on my home connection, even though both computers are on China Netcom DSL. Friends in Tianjin and Shanghai often report that sites there load differently from up here as well.

And yes, Metafilter does load just fine here.
posted by bokane at 9:12 PM on February 28, 2007


We have Metafilter users living in China. There's even been a meetup in Shanghai. I can't recall any of them ever saying anything about needing to go all spy-vs-spy to get to the site.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:25 PM on February 28, 2007


Checking Metafilter daily from Shanghai with no problems whatsoever.
posted by klue at 3:52 AM on March 1, 2007


I sent this post (the wall) to a friend over there and he could not get into the linki1 it was blocked
posted by Postroad at 3:31 PM on March 1, 2007


Still working for me here in Beijing, Postroad.
posted by Abiezer at 3:47 PM on March 1, 2007


Tibetan exiles to protest Chinese rule via 'net video, March 10
posted by homunculus at 9:58 AM on March 7, 2007


Wife of Chinese Cyber Dissident to Sue Yahoo
posted by homunculus at 4:36 PM on March 8, 2007


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