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increased internet blockage at universities?

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So I go to Beijing Normal University and the internet has been severely messed up for the past two weeks. For the first week almost all non-Chinese websites became inaccessible, but only during working hours. Then it worked for a whole day, then it didn't work for a whole day, now it seems to go on and off every 15 minutes or so. VPNs also won't connect while this is happening. A few days ago a notice was posted by the BNU information center which basically said "we know about the problem, it's not our fault, it seems like some 运营商 (internet authorities?) have blocked access to foreign websites and VPNs at several universities, please all students don't use any VPNs or attempt to visit any 'illegal' websites." But I haven't heard anyone else besides BNU students complaining about it.

Is anyone at any other university in Beijing or elsewhere experiencing restricted access to non-Chinese websites/VPNs?

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运营商 (internet authorities?)

Operator, which in this context refers to the Telecom Operator.

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Seems kind of like the CSC scholarship -- only the center knows what's going on, and even with them I have my doubts...

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Tons of ‘illegal websites’ can’t be accessed from here at Hainan University. This is really irritating because I need to use Google and its Gmail all the time.

方滨兴, dubbed Father of China's Great Firewall, was attacked by flying eggs and shoes from students when he was giving a speech at Wuhan University yesterday. I checked the media coverage of that incident just now but found some had been deleted.

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Operator, which in this context refers to the Telecom Operator.

Which is owned by the government. ;)

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方滨兴, dubbed Father of China's Great Firewall, was attacked by flying eggs and shoes from students when he was giving a speech at Wuhan University yesterday. I checked the media coverage of that incident just now but found some had been deleted.

From the NYTimes:

Chinese Student Takes Aim, Literally, at Internet Regulator

BEIJING — The authorities are seeking a college student who sneaked into a lecture hall at one of China’s most prestigious universities on Thursday and tossed eggs and shoes at a computer scientist both lionized and reviled as the architect of China’s strict Internet controls.

(offtopic) "sneaked"? not snuck?

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I need to use Google and its Gmail all the time.

I am curious, why do you choose gmail? I assume that gmail having problems on the mainland is just "normal", no? Why don't you choose sina or other local service?

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Some Chinese news reports on 方滨兴:

北京郵電大學校長方濱興在武大演講被扔鞋

中評社北京5月20日電/北方郵電大學校長方濱興昨日前往武漢大學參加一項學術活動的消息在微博迅速傳開。有網民發帖稱“下午方濱興將出現在武漢大學計算機學院B座4樓”,很快一項“隨手扔方校長解救中國互聯網”的懸賞活動展開,扔中方濱興的懸賞起初是10個VPN賬號,隨後又有淘寶網2000元訂單、香港大餐、蘇州園林套票,甚至美女香吻擁抱。不過,武漢大學官網卻沒有任何關於此事的消息。

《雲南信息報》報道,下午,來自微博尚未證實的消息稱,現場有人向方濱興投擲雞蛋未中,繼而脫下鞋子,“第一支鞋打中了,第二只鞋被一男一女護住了”。微博稱現場發生衝突,有十餘人追出,準備抓住扔鞋的抗議者,但在學生的阻攔中,抗議者離開了現場。

網曝北京郵電大學校長方濱興在武大演講被扔鞋

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I've been having Gmail problems for months now (without VPN it's a nightmare, so I now have several VPNs). It wouldn't be quite so annoying if my university in the U.S. hadn't decided last year to merge all of its mail services into a Gmail platform in order to outsource its own IT infrastructure. Now, whether I want it or not, I'm stuck with Gmail.

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All local mainland email providers censor their users' incoming emails for political content. The sender might get a return message, but sometimes the emails are rejected quietly without any indication to the sender that the email has been rejected.

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Same here, a private apartment in Shanghai.

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This describes my experience in Chengdu exactly. Spotty access to Gmail is making life difficult. I have 2 VPNs but lately they're unreliable.

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Here at BJUT I have not noticed any sites being blocked, aside from the usuals(wikipedia, youtube, imdb).

Google Gmail works fine, Tor even works as long as I use a bridge.

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Usual foreign websites (in my case, these are Wikipedia and Google) are still accessible here in SYSU. Google Docs though doesn't load, and Gmail is slow. Yahoo! Mail runs okay. CNN is accessible, but videos are blocked.

Although the websites are accessible, I apparently can't upload pictures to Wikipedia. :cry:

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Severe blocking of foreign websites here at Nanjing Normal University. Every site that's not Chinese is blocked -- even this site is only intermittently accessible through F*G. Can someone please tell them I'm not trying to organize a r.e.v.olution?

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For about a week there I was having serious problems with my connection with my VPN cutting out almost every hour. Though, I haven't had any issues the last few days, but I also live just outside Renmin University.

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What I've never understood is how China cannot block access to the actual VPN / the websites which advertise or own the VPN, thereby preventing people from purchasing access to them and getting the details about them.

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I thought for the most part they do block some of the popular VPN websites. I have also spoken too soon, as I am still having connection problems.

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I was trying to sign up for a new e-mail account for my Paypal account to be created. It turns out Gmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL are all blocked. I bet most of other foreign e-mail services are blocked too.

What can we do about this?

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I'm in Xiamen university and am experiencing the same problems. I have adsl in my dorm room which works the same speed as always, but if you connect to the university network (e.g. at the library) then the speed is painfully painfully slow. Using some of the free anti-firewall tools, some of them connect fine but will eventually get automatically cut off after some period of time, both in the dorm and on the university network, and some of them just won't connect at all.

Gmail is working fine for me (on both connections), and I haven't really experienced any blockage of it, though it can be very slow sometimes.

I'm not sure what can be done really. It's extremely annoying if you have to use a university network with the situation as it is now.

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Skylee:

I am curious, why do you choose gmail? I assume that gmail having problems on the mainland is just "normal", no? Why don't you choose sina or other local service?

In my company they use sina. It is one of the worst mail providers in the whole world. The only reason they chose it is because of some guanxi at the top. The sina guy probably took the boss to dinner and we are paying the price of using a retard inflexible system that is half as good as hotmail was 10 years ago. Gmail offers so many features that sina doesn't, for example searching for key words within emails is almost impossible in sina. Sina's interface doesn't make any sense and there are very few customization options. In addition it's fairly slow despite running on mainland servers.

tl;dr gmail is free and superior to paid chinese services in almost all aspects (except accessibly )

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ALL foreign websites had been blocked inside my university. I haven't accessed the internet there in a few days, so I don't know about now. I tried a variety of different vpns and fg versions of old. Some would work for up to thirty seconds.

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