Kindle Breaches the Great Firewall of China

Kindle books

On a recent trip to China, a woman from San Francisco discovered that her Kindle could breach the nearly impenetrable, aptly named Great Firewall of China, enabling her to download a variety of news publications. The Chinese government goes to great lengths to prevent uncensored information from entering the country through the Internet. The censorship, often referred to as the Great Firewall of China, makes it difficult if not impossible to get English language news publications inside the country.

A blog for Kindle enthusiasts, Me and My Kindle, tells the story of San Francisco entrepreneur Sophia Chiang who brought her Kindle on an extended visit to China. Ms. Chiang expected to use the Kindle for reading books and keeping her kids occupied. What she was surprised to discover is she was able to download major news publications from back home through the Whispernet connection of the Kindle. She said she was able to buy  “uncensored English magazines like Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Atlantic Monthly.”

China takes this censorship duty so seriously, it is surprising this hole exists. I suspect once they discover this easy way to breach the firewall, it will likely end up plugged. Meanwhile, those visiting China should bring the Kindle along. It may be the only way to get uncensored news from home.

Image credit: Amazon

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?

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