Whoah, what just happened? I fell asleep at the wheel. Sorry. Anyway, here’s a little something I wrote the other day.
The Great Firewall of China
My mother moved to China a few months ago. The world has changed, and with the Internet and all our gadgets, it seems like we can be living pretty much anywhere, and still stay in touch just the same. Stress on “seems.”
Mom set up a few blogs on Blogger a few months before hitting the road. Her plan was to tell her friends and family about her life, post some photos and keep in touch with the West, in general.
Her first blog posting was a bust. Or, more correctly, her first attempt to post something was a bust. Of her three blogs, she could only post to one, the one that uploaded the files to her own FTP server.
The Chinese government had blocked Blogger, again.
Blogger.com was blocked for three years until October 2005, then again a few months later, then reopened, but nobody seems to know what the status is right now. Except that it’s blocked. For now.
So Mom IMed me on Skype, and asked me why she couldn’t post. Ironically, Google’s Blogger was blocked in China but in Sweden, Google helped me to find the info.
I also found a site, www.greatfirewallofchina.org, that shows which Web addresses are available, and which are blocked. It was a real eye-opener for me. I punched in address after address, and they all came back as “blocked.” Even my own, www.ristopakarinen.com was blocked, the site said.
That seemed almost creepy so I sat down and skyped my mother and asked her to test a few sites for me. The Great Firewall of China was right every time. Even my site stayed down when she tried to access it.
At least we have Skype that we can use for talking, video calls, and instant messaging, we have email, and frankly, there’s not much to read in the Swedish tabloids.
But still, I’m upset.
This blog misses a huge market.