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Blocked by Great Firewall & We Don't Care

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[qi:060] Over past few weeks we have received numerous emails from readers and well wishers who told us that GigaOM and our network of blogs was unavailable in mainland China. The Great Firewall was blocking us, we were told. The final proof came when contributing editor Wagner James Au visited China earlier in August 2007. He had a tough time getting us the stories.

Maybe it is because we are hosted on that got us blocked or perhaps it is something we wrote – either way we don’t care. Why because preventing access to information is counter productive and ultimately, if history is an indicator, walls — both physical and virtual — can’t withstand the test of time. It is something Wagner James Au argues in his special report.

It was a strange coincidence that our special report comes out on the day when The Financial Times is reporting that Chinese Military-linked groups hacked Pentagon networks. It is not an isolated case. German officials have been complaining about similar problems for quite sometime.

This should be a red flag to say the least, especially from a networking perspective. Over past few years, ZTE Corp. and Huawei, two large Chinese equipment vendors have been gaining market share and becoming a key component of the global telecom/networking infrastructure – from Africa to Asia to Europe.

“The ability of Huawei and ZTE to participate in, let alone win, telecom infrastructure tenders in the Western hemisphere may have lessened considerably following last week’s shock report,” writes Dresdner Kleinwort analyst Per Lindberg in a research note issued Monday. “It could trigger a return to national security clearance when it comes to procurement of telecom networks.”

13 Responses to “Blocked by Great Firewall & We Don't Care”

  1. To your knowledge you guys have already be blocked for quite a long time, along with other great blog writers, even Feedburner too, but we got our way to make it though the GFW, also RSS on Greader is also a good way to read your posts.
    Anyway, since there is nothing we can do to change the situation expect cursing a lot, I think the situation will goes on for a long time.

  2. Jesse Kopelman

    I still think Google’s decision to comply with Chinese censorship was their biggest mistake ever. It will always be the main argument when questioning their commitment to do no evil and respect their users’ wishes when it comes to things like privacy and security of information.

  3. Issac and David,

    I agree with – I don’t care because I know folks like you will figure out a way to go past the firewall. There is a certain short sightedness in this firewall approach. This kind of mind control doesn’t work. Tell me what needs to be done on my end, and I am happy to do something about it. I need your input.

  4. I know you said you don’t care presumably to be provocative, but those walls won’t come tumbling down unless we blow hard, you know, and that means complaining against censorship, infringements of human rights and more…


  5. Currently Chinese political space is going through a major flux with many key government ministers being replaced. Hu Jintao is consolidating his powers and the current phase of what I call “more-than-usual” restrictions on the internet has something to do with these changes and the upcoming 5-yearly party congress. I think things will settle down after the October congress.

  6. OM, I know users care, at least your Chinese subscribers like me. The fact is there are thousands of web sites never know the reason why they were blocked in China. Most of the time, it’s not because of content, but implication of similar web sites or close IP scopes.

    But I totoally agree with you that it’s not a pity, but a loss of China and Chinese people about their future of creation and image. The government does evil because it’s a totalitarian regime. But there’s also the responsibility from people, they should fight together.