Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fighting Censorship

Econblogger Survived SARS reports that he appears to be blocked by the Great Firewall of China. If could very well be that Typepad has been blocked en masse, but I can't keep track of which blog service is blocked this week. Either way, what makes this especially noteworthy, in my opinion, is his response:
Some people try to circumvent the web censors (reverse engineered from Cisco technology, thanks guys) and web nannies by writing words like "democracy" as dem0cr@cy or something like that, and thereby evading the keyword-sensitive censors. I'm not going to do this.
Instead of such games, he decides to attack the problem head on.
I think a better solution is to try to overload the censors using paragraphs such as the following: China democracy Tibet Falun Gong Taiwan independence Anti-Japan demonstrations protests Chen Shui-bian DPP Taiping Rebellion Chen Yonglin Zhao Ziyang China exchange rate speculation Hu Yaobang Wei Jingsheng democracy Radio Free Asia Voice of America 6/4/89 4/6/76 4/6/89 6/4/76 Three Gorges cracks Fang Lizhi democracy freedom Falun Gong anti-Japan nationalism embassy bombing democracy

I can't really claim to be helping overload the sensors since Blogger is already banned. I guess a mass movement to post that text on every anti-censorship China blog wouldn't help because it would just help the censors find them all and block them more effectively.

A better solution is to download and read the latest report from Reporters Without Borders on how to circumvent censors. There is useful information in there for everyone from the definition of a blog to technical information on promoting your blog and using proxies.