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roddy

BBC suddenly unblocked?

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roddy

As of right now, I'm able to get the BBC's news pages (ie the news.bbc.co.uk subdomain) directly, with no proxy, etc. Checked with someone in Beijing and the same thing is true there. Anyone else around China finding the same thing?

I doubt it'll last, but refreshing to see all the same . . .

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muyongshi

Yep same here....Check tomorrow and then we'll know if it's a fluke...

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Shadowdh

Yep I can get it here too... comes in with no problems or proxy... even with a rather large report about his holiness...

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adrianlondon

Good. They read my "stupid or liars" post and decided to act. I run China! Anything else you'd like to see changed? I was going to ban queue pushing but then many "china expat" web sites would go out of business.

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msittig

Accessible in Shanghai on residential China Telecom ADSL.

Amazing. BBC was one of the most hard-core-blocked sites.

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liuzhou

Still accessible this morning.

And the Guardian filter/block seems to have been lifted, too.

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adrianlondon

Either they've decided to open everything up on the basis that more people are complaining about the news censorship than they are about the situation in teebet, or their firewall crashed having had an upload of too many trigger words ;)

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liuzhou

Wikipedia is still blocked.

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roddy

Well, I can still get it this morning. Who knows what's going on. Could be a slip-up somewhere - didn't something similar happen last spring festival with other sites? - or perhaps some bizarre decision-making process has decided that it's time for some good press, lets make friends with the BBC. Guess it's not impossible that someone decided the BBC's coverage over the last few days has been more China-friendly.

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liuzhou

The BBC news site is not completely unblocked. I can't get to this page without using a proxy.

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roddy

Yeah, there are two types of blocking in operation.

Hard, url-based blocks take out a complete site, or subdomain. IE wikipedia.org, news.bbc.co.uk. It doesn't matter what content is on there, it's always blocked.

Keyword filtering. Any page with a certain combination of words on is blocked as you try to access it. You'll often get half a page loaded, then a 'connection to the server reset' message (on Firefox, at least). There's no list of pages blocked this way - it's done in real time as browsers try to access it. This is what causes us problems sometimes, but if you edit the page to remove / disguise the offending terms it'll work fine.

Keyword filtering is applied to the entire Internet. So although they've allowed access to the news.bbc.co.uk url for now, any pages on it that trigger keyword filters are still going to cause problems. It's this type of filtering that had the Guardian complaining it was being blocked yesterday.

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Jive Turkey

The way I see it, there isn't much risk for Beijing to unblock BBC. They're probably pretty confident that they've gotten most, if not all non-local journalists out of the place. I doubt that they're going to let journalists back in any time soon. Everyone here in Hong Kong is saying "Close the door to beat the dog." A friend just over the border said that yesterday those four characters were running afoul of the key word filters. Can anybody else confirm that?

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roddy

But the BBC block goes way beyond current events - it's been in place for as long as I can remember. It would be noteworthy to see it removed at ANY point, for it to happen now is basically . . . odd.

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Senzhi

Anybody thought that this might be (testing) in preparation of some games this year?

Many foreign visitors will like to follow the news through their familiar sites. I suppose Beijing feels they have the obligation to let at least something through, else I can see the complaints rocket from those one-time visiting sport fans. Too much negative publicity they can miss.

In addition, they still need to show some evidence on the censorship issue, which was a requirement for them to get those games. As well as showing improvement on other issues (which they currently seem not to succeed in at all.)

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imron

I'm sure for the olympics everything will be unblocked and everyone will claim how they didn't notice any real censorship at all. And then afterwards everything will be back to normal.

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gougou
I'm sure for the olympics everything will be unblocked and everyone will claim how they didn't notice any real censorship at all.
Sounds plausible. After all, we did get blogspot for the duration of the last 两会 when all the foreign journalists swarmed to Beijing.

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randall_flagg

I could picture them doing a test run as well. But now?!

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adrianlondon

As I say, maybe their firewall has a problem. Or maybe they realise that, assuming they don't "do a Burma" with the captured monks, this issue has actually been a winner for China.

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