Thursday, November 15, 2012

China's Great Firewall Raised Higher for a Party

As Paul Mozur noted last week: recent weeks concern about the Internet has taken primacy as access to websites – especially foreign websites and virtual private networks, or VPNs, which allow users to circumvent Chinese Internet filters – has deteriorated.

The likely reason is the weeklong 18th Party Congress, a highly scripted but nevertheless critical political event scheduled to culminate with the unveiling of Communist Party’s next generation of leaders.

Chinese authorities routinely move to exert more control over the Internet around big meetings and politically sensitive dates, including by disrupting traffic to foreign websites outside the country’s censorship system, commonly referred to as the Great Firewall. But a number of users have complained of unusually frequent disruptions in the run-up to the 18th Party Congress...
See the article here for more details.

I too have had growing problems using my VPN during the past several weeks and have needed customer support from the U.S. on several occasions to resolve them. My impression is that some of the methods being used by the Great Firewall are more sophisticated than what I have experienced before.

At this moment, I can only maintain brief connections to my VPN before being disconnected. However, unlike previous times I can't rule out that there isn't a more general problem with my Internet connection. So I will apply a method that seems apt for this hour: I will go to sleep. My recent experience is that things will be either be much better or much worse when I wake up.

FYI -- without a functional VPN I am not able to post here since Blogger remains blocked in China. This and the fact that I have spent much time trying to better understand the blocking are some of the reasons I have not gotten around to several posts I had planned for this week. They're still in the pipeline though.

I will only be able to publish this post by waiting for a brief window during which I am connected to the VPN--assuming one opens again.

So far this is not working. Hopefully this can slip through on one of the tries...

More later.

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