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China blocks YouTube in bid to censor Tibet crackdown

Internet users in China have reported that they have been unable to access YouTube.com starting from Sunday. This happened after dozens of amateur videos chronicling the violence in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, were apparently posted on the popular video-sharing site.

Internet users in China have reported that they have been unable to access YouTube.com starting from Sunday. This happened after dozens of amateur videos chronicling the violence in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, were apparently posted on the popular video-sharing site.

Excerpt from Wired blogs:

The blocking added to the communist government's efforts to control what the public saw and heard about protests that erupted Friday in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, against Chinese rule. Access to YouTube.com, usually readily available in China, was blocked after videos appeared on the site Saturday, showing foreign news reports about the Lhasa demonstrations, montages of photos, and scenes from Tibet-related protests abroad.

Rick Martin, who reports from China over at CNET, supplied the following screen shot as proof of the block.

youtubechinajpg.png

This would hardly be the first time that YouTube has suffered a blockage. Just last month, the Pakistan government ordered access to the site cut off after apparently being displeased by a video running on the site. It inadvertently resulted in a global YouTube outage.

Now, access to YouTube could hardly be considered mission-critical. However, in the brave new world of SaaS, having entire domains cut off could have disastrous consequences. Do you see such domain-level interference increasing or decreasing in the future?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

8 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

"If you let him live in America this is what will happen in the future".I find it very hard to believe that China is Communist.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

China is not communist because the communist party followes the dalai lama, so America will be communist once the DL gets here, and you suggest that the DL is here, so we are now communist while China is not Pondering thoughts now......

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

this is in the vein of "To defeat your enemy you become like him" ? As communism and democracy battle for believers they have become similar? Ah Heck! I can't get this double think thingy down! :)

paulmah
paulmah

Do you see such domain-level interference increasing, or decreasing in the future?

DadsPad
DadsPad

all broadcast in the world where Chinese citizens can get news of the Tibetan rebellion (their words). That ban includes the NPR radio broadcasts. I am not sure if YouTube was mentioned, but that also is a source of news. Even world news broadcasters that are in China have no internet source for news. When a leading China dissenter was arrested when he critized China for not living up to their pledge to improve human rights to get the Olympics there, they denied that. Just said he was arrested on charges for trying to overthrow the government. Despite what the Olympic commitee conditions were, the seems like it will be a very politically controlled Olympic event. We, who live in a free(er) society sometimes forget that China is not truely free, by our definitions.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I suspect that the blocking is happening, but not being able to ping a URL from one specific location (even with DNS working and IP addr resolution) has many possible explanations.

Vulpinemac
Vulpinemac

While I can't argue with Michael that this isn't real proof of blockage, it seems strangely coincedental to the event taking last week's 'accidental' blockage into account and current events in Tibet. Maybe if more people try to go to uTube and access Tibet or China videos we might get more information.

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I just found it rather unprofessional that the evidence was just a negative ping trace on an Apple computer.

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