Wed

02

Jul

2008

Facebook is not blocked “in China” but “someone there” is trying

Chinese users of social networking site www.facebook.com experienced frequent outages and inaccessibility during the last 3 days. However as it turns out only subscribers of the ISP China Telecom were affected and continue to be.

At closer look what we currently see happening is a classic example of the old cat-and-mouse game: Since Monday China Telecom’s servers have repeatedly blocked individual Facebook IP addresses with the US American hosted site reacting within a few hours and changing their DNS to another IP. We’ve so far seen moves from 69.63.176.140 to among others 69.63.178.11 and currently 69.63.178.12.

 

Are the Chinese authorities trying to shutdown the social networking giant only a few days after it released its Chinese language versions? We don’t think so.

If the Chinese government decides to make a foreign hosted site unavailable to Chinese Netizens it utilizes the full potential of the so called “Great Chinese Firewall” including a complete DNS block, resetting the connection during the transmission and additionally applying an URL keyword block. With such means Chinese international-gateway servers are basically bullet proof and can only be circumvented by using proxy server tools such as Tor or VPN tunnels. For an in depth explanation on how the Chinese Net Nanny works check the article “The Connection Has Been Reset”.

Looking at the current amateurish attempts to silence Facebook in China, chances are high that neither the Chinese government, nor China Telecom but rather “someone at China Telecom” is teasing Facebook. Who would benefit from such cruel intentions? You do the thinking …

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