“China No Longer Has Internet. It Has LAN”
Lost Laowai sums up the most recent spate of blocked sites for Internet users in China:
So, to add to lengthy list of blocked websites from earlier this summer (see the footnote, at the end of this post) we must now add a few more:
Bit.ly (URL shortening service)
Post.ly (URL shortening service)
iTweet.net (a twitter web app)
Twitzap (a twitter web app)
TwitterGadget (a tiny twitter app on iGoogle)
The situation really is getting ridiculous. A few other ways to access twitter still exist, thankfully. Just this afternoon one China-based expat on twitter commented that “China no longer has internet. It has LAN” (h/t @illuminantceo), which is an apt description of how insular and freaky it’s getting.
For the first time, the Chinese government has attacked one of the best, most secure tools for surfing the Internet anonymously. The clampdown against the tool, called Tor, came in the days leading up to the 60th anniversary of China’s “national day” on October 1. It is part of a growing trend in which repressive nations orchestrate massive clampdowns during politically sensitive periods, in addition to trying to maintain Internet firewalls year-round.
“It was the first time the Chinese government has ever even included Tor in any sort of censorship circumvention effort,” says Andrew Lewman, the executive director of Tor Project, the nonprofit that maintains the Tor software and network. “They were so worried about October 1, they went to anything that could possibly circumvent their firewall and blocked it.”
See a video produced by Technology Review which interviews the project leader of Tor about the uses of the service.