The great chinese firewall

Ars Technica is running a story on how RSS feeds are now blocked by the “great chinese firewall” It astounds me how communism is still flourishing in China… God forbid your citizens are able to absorb news from around the world.

From Ars Technica:

As many readers who follow the antics of the Chinese government know, when it comes to enforcing the “Great Firewall of China,” consistency isn’t exactly its strong point. While certain phrases, concepts, and entire web sites are regularly blocked from reaching the eyeballs of many Chinese Internet surfers, things like high traffic are enough to let a number of forbidden concepts slip through. And then there’s the indecision of China’s Public Security Bureau (PSB), which has blocked certain sites (such as Blogspot and WordPress blogs) on and off for some time now, and enforces the blocks inconsistently between provinces. For a One True China, there are certainly many interpretations of what is and isn’t allowed through the country’s cyber connection.

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Savvy Internet fans in the people’s republic have known for a long time, however, that there have been simple ways to get forbidden information. One of those ways was the magical gift of Real Simple Syndication, or RSS. The Great Firewall can block specific web sites all it wants, but as long as there’s an RSS feed, many Chinese surfers can use feeds to access otherwise forbidden information.

Unfortunately, China appears to have finally gotten wise to RSS as of late—reports have been popping up from our readers and around the web of not being able to access FeedBurner RSS feeds as early as August of this year. More recent reports tell us that the PSB appears to have extended this block to all incoming URLs that begin with “feeds,” “rss,” and “blog,” thus rendering the RSS feeds from many sites—including ones that aren’t blocked in China, such as Ars Technica—useless.


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