GLOBAL CENSORSHIP

OR…… BREAKING THROUGH THE GREAT (FIRE)WALL OF CHINA ;)

I received an email this morning from a reader in China. He cannot access my Blog any longer because it is on WordPress….

In his own words…. “The main reason why I suspect it’s not available in China is that all of wordpress.com is blocked here, almost certainly because that website hosts anti-China websites. China used to do that for geocities too, but recently I’ve noticed that I can get some geocities sites from here.”

We all know the censorship policies of Google and its affiliated sites such as Blogger, shutting down a site here or there, especially those pro Palestinian or anti zionist…

BUT, for a country to ban an entire Website…. that’s a bit much, don’t you think?
I searched the Web a bit to see if I can help my reader access my Blog and found the following…. SO…. if you are unfortunate enough to live in a land such as the Undemocratic Republic of China, Brazil or Turkey, read the following and try to get back into WordPress….
*****************************
The following is taken from THIS post, with thanks…

How to Access Banned WordPress.com Blogs

WordPress.com bannedAs discussed in WordPress.com Banned Again: Why Aren’t You Concerned?, continues to be a target for censorship and blocking from various countries and groups around the world attempting to penalize the whole for the “wrongs” of the few the courts or governments decide to penalize, those cutting off thousands of blogs from access.

I was also recently blocked from accessing Gmail and this WordPress.com blog from a free hotel WIFI in Chicago, which inspired me to write How Do You Know If Your Blog is Banned or Blocked? on the Blog Herald, as your blog can be blocked from anywhere at any time, not just by a country or legal decision. Bans and blocks can happen from companies, educational institutions, public WIFI access points, Internet Providers, and more.

I contacted WordPress.com support about the options and did some digging to find out how WordPress.com bloggers were getting around the blocks and what WordPress.com bloggers can do.

According to WordPress.com support, mapping your domain to a WordPress.com account will not avoid the blocks that ban by IP address. The request goes to the WordPress.com nameservers which trigger the blocks. So adding the Domain Mapping feature will not get around the bans.

However, working with client side proxy software or online web proxy servers, using web proxy browser extensions, and some other techniques allow web savvy users to bypass most of these blocks and filters not only to read the blocked blogs but access and blog on blocked blog services.

Here are some options to try to access a blocked WordPress.com blog as well as other blocked or banned sites.

Client Side Proxy Software

By installing client side proxy software, you can get get around strong firewalls like the ones in China, a technique used by many high tech companies inside and outside of China, often developed by technology experts in Chinese companies.

Client side proxy software allows a user to securely bypass content-filtering systems set up by governments and corporate networks. According to Wikipedia regarding , a popular web proxy program, it is described as:

…a censorship circumvention solution that allows users to access blocked sites in countries where the Internet is censored, [which] turns a regular home computer into a personal, encrypted server capable of retrieving and displaying web pages anywhere.

By bypassing the blocks, the web is an open door. Some popular proxy software include:

Online Web Proxy Bypass Sites

There are a variety of online web proxy bypass sites which allow free access to blocked and banned sites. They have a variety of features and abilities, and may take several tries and testing of options to access some banned and blocked sites. By using online proxy sites, the site blocks your IP address and other information, allowing your visit to the site to go through without interference.

These sites may not always allow you access to blog on a blocked blog, but they do permit reading and often commenting on most banned blogs and sites. To access a banned or blocked blog as the blog owner and contributor, enter the WordPress.com login URL.

Visit the site and enter the blocked site’s URL into the form. You can use their default proxy services or select from various options to access the blocked site.

There are many online web proxy server sites, and a few popular ones include:

Using a Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution Network

You can also get around some blocks using a peer-to-peer content distribution network, such as Coral CDN. A content distribution network (CDN) is what popular file sharing networks are based upon, server-based networks with content-delivery, request-routing, file distribution, and accounting infrastructures. By maximizing bandwidth and time savings by content replication across the servers, access is faster and cheaper through the network than by relying upon one server located thousands of miles away. A web user can also navigate through the content distribution network to hide or confuse their IP address, thus allowing access to banned or blocked sites.

Corel offers easy bypassing of some firewall and site blocks by adding .nyud.net or .nyud.net:8090 to the URL of the site. For a WordPress.com site:

http://example.wordpress.com/

would be

http://example.wordpress.com.nyud.net:8090/

To use this with my article on Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Guide, the link would be:

http://lorelle.wordpress.com.nyud.net:8090/2006/01/15/dyi-search-engine-optimization/

You can do this manually, or use one of the Coral Clients for Firefox, Greasemonkey, Opera, and Internet Explorer or one of the Corel browser plugins. It will work with Windows, Max, Linus, BSD, and most other operating systems.

If you are offering content specifically for readers often found behind firewalls, why not help them by adding the Coral link code to your outgoing links so they can access blocked and banned content without stress nor struggle.

Browser Extensions

There are a few browser extensions and add-ons that will help you get through various firewalls. Choose one appropriate to your web browser.

More Solutions to Bypass Firewalls and Bans

is a privacy project and program run by volunteers that works by bouncing your online communications around a distributed network of relays, similar to a content distribution network but the project is designed to block tracking and spying on your Internet activity. It protects your privacy such as blocking your physical site location and works with web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote logins and other TCP protocol access applications. By blocking information on your web traffic stats and path, Tor may help some uses bypass firewalls and blocks to access, and does protect your private information from being tracked completely, which is why many recommend the Tor Bundle, which includes Tor, TorCP and Privoxy.

You can also add an Automatic proxy configuration file to your computer and browser that will type into your browser, such as FireFox, to bypass some preventions. For information and details see:

For more information on the variety of techniques and tips for bypassing most firewall restrictions and blocks, see:

China is not the only one blocking WordPress.com, Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, and many other social networking, bookmarking, and blog sites. Recent blocks include Brazil and Turkey. You can learn more on Internet censorship on Wikipedia and Internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China.

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5 Comments

  1. October 10, 2008 at 16:12

    While I’m thrilled to help others, copying and plagiarizing content is against the law and against WordPress.com policy. Could you please either simply link to my article or include an excerpt and link to stay within the Terms of Service and avoid penalties from WordPress.com.

    I recommend you read What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content for more information to help you learn more about international copyright laws.

    Thank you.

  2. desertpeace said,

    October 10, 2008 at 16:28

    Sorry…. I added a link at the beginning of your content.

  3. October 27, 2008 at 20:15

    Hi,
    I am an intern at GOOD Magazine (http://www.good.is). I happened to come across your blog and after reading through it I thought that you might be interested in a video on internet censorship that we recently released on our site:

    http://www.good.is/?p=12714

    or on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPAvg6CU6sI

    Please, feel free to surf through our site for more videos that might interest you!

  4. December 24, 2008 at 08:17

    Thanks !!!!!

  5. Proxor said,

    December 29, 2008 at 01:10

    Found a lot of useful information on your blog.
    Thanks for sharing!


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