We mean “Western Internet,” of course, but considering 10 of the top 12 sites on Alexa are based in the West, it’s fair to wonder — as RFH did just now — “what the damage is economically by turning yourself into North Korea, Internet-wise.”
Check out the image above, a very short list of websites I tried to access just now without my VPN (I should note that my normal VPN connection failed earlier this morning, but I’m now on a custom gateway). News sites like the Telegraph — Neil Heywood’s hometown paper — and New York Times, Guardian, CNN are understandable targets at a sensitive time like this. Google.com we know hasn’t made friends with Chinese authorities. But ESPN.com? Gawker? Beijing Cream? Trust me, the list goes on and on. One can’t access anything, it seems.
Except — and here, I have to say that I wish this was a joke, that I were a mere troll fishing for a laugh — look what cockroach of a site crawled out of today’s Internet apocalypse, poking its dirty head into our brave new world:
Perhaps this was just funny timing. Perhaps the Great Firewall was allowing every tenth website to slip through the crack, and the tenth website I tested happened to be Pornhub (which we’ve written about here before: this popular porn site is not regularly blocked in China). Perhaps…
Again, I wish this were a joke. But more likely, I think, this is confirmation of a somber truth: reality for those of us in China is the other side of the looking glass. We are trapped in a mirror, tapping at our reflections, dumb and deaf to the laughter of those on the outside of this godforsaken Panopticon. We are living inside a joke — a big, fat, smutty joke in which we can’t access news, we can’t access search engines except crappy Baidu, we can’t access our inboxes, we can’t blog or chat with friends, but we can freely stream videos of people having sex — Monica Santhiago all oil up… Gina Lynn very Hot Scene… The Fresh Prince of Beli-Air Porn Parody (pt. II)…
There’s nothing wrong with porn, by the way. It’s just that, you know, faced with a scorched earth, perhaps a bit of water would be more vital?
POSTCRIPT: China Daily Show totally portended this day with its March 28 story, “PLA wipes Internet…”
UPDATE, 12:51 pm: As we speak, Gmail — including gchat — is working again, as are a bunch of other sites that had previously failed to load. It appears someone in the Ministry of Censorship has realized that wiping the Internet in a country with 300 million online users wasn’t a good idea.
You might want to adjust a part of a view. half the time you get those errors it is because the servers it self are actually too bussy. (try it few minutes later or NOT during peak times and it normaly works). Google.com works fine here.. i use it every day from Shenzhen. just sometimes has a server too bussy issue which goes for all sites/servers based outside China.
It’s easy to try and bash on china’s firewall but propaganda – you might want to check out USA first only difference is that they don’t do it openly and no one is allowed to talk about it following their laws
I’m well aware of the pernicious effects of propaganda in the States, though think it’s irrelevant to the issue here. It was pretty well documented that China essentially killed the Internet for an hour… because it could: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2012/04/13/china-testing-for-kill-switch-of-the-world-wide-web/ and http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/04/12/mystery-outages-put-china-internet-on-edge/?mod=WSJBlog
i dont know if you should be writing about how you can’t access your inbox in China, as much as you should be writing about how the nsa can read all of your emails on hotmail, yahoo, and gmail. i tend to make it a point to use no email service based in ANY western country, to make it that much harder for the nsa to spy on me. also, i dont think that China is really doing very much propaganda. there are probably hundreds of sites like beijingcream strictly dedicated to attacking China, or portray China in a negative light. how many Chinese sites are strictly dedicated to attacking the west? how many spin doctors are on China’s payroll like “anythony tao” to attack the west? believe me, i look very hard on the internet to look for any websites with the theme of attacking the west, and i havent really found very many. and no, foundation funded operatives like alex jones do not qualify, nor does controlled dissent, and controlled opposition. i’m not even talking about anti war websites or leftist sites, i’m talking about entire sites dedicated to attacking western culture, and talking about the overthrow of western regimes. they simply don’t exist, but that could have something to do with the fact that the u.s regime controls the entire internet and can take down any site they want, just like they did mega upload
let me add one more thing. i think that the u.s regime is lucky that China is even allowing the american internet, along with all its disinformation, and malicious attacks. personally, i think China should block the american internet entirely. some countries like north Korea, Myanmar, and Cuba have their own internet where they can keep their citizens free from all the filth that is littered all over the american version. i would fully support China to make its own internet, as the internet ought to be used to spread knowledge, ideas, and things that benefit society, not to spread disinformation, like the american version. and let’s be perfectly honest, “defence” contractors like darpa do NOT invent things unless they have an offensive application, which is quite evident the american internet has. and i put “defence” in quotes because we all know that “defence contractors” don;t actually defend anything except their bank accounts. “offence contractors” would be a better term.