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Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:51 PM

China's internet users temporarily blocked from foreign websites

Source: The Guardian

China's internet users have been cut off from accessing all foreign websites for around an hour in an unexplained incident that sparked speculation the country's censorship system was being tested or further tightened.

The "great firewall" already blocks many sites hosted from other countries, but users in Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China reported that they could not reach any foreign sites whatsoever on Thursday morning although it was not clear whether the problems were universal.

Meanwhile, users abroad and in Hong Kong which is part of China but not subject to Beijing's net censorship said they were unable to reach any sites on the Chinese mainland.

Some believed it was purely a technical failure, with several suggesting that Wednesday's massive earthquakes had hit an undersea cable, disrupting services. In 2007, a tremor hit a major cable and dramatically slowed access to overseas sites for months.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/12/china-internet-users-foreign-websites

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Reply China's internet users temporarily blocked from foreign websites (Original post)
alp227 Apr 2012 OP
HughBeaumont Apr 2012 #1
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #2
rayofreason Apr 2012 #3
tawadi Apr 2012 #4

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:01 PM

1. In other news: American Telecoms Taking Notes . . ..





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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 03:08 PM

2. I heard a rumor that there is some sort of upset or problem in the high

echelons of the Chinese government. I don't know much beyond that.


Beijing: China has removed 2.10 lakh online posts and shut down 42 websites as part of a massive crackdown on the country's 300 million-strong microbloggers following coup rumours as a major political scandal rocked the nation.

An announcement to this effect in state-run media on Thursday comes close on the heels of the nation's biggest political crisis after a top leader was sacked from the Communist Party and his wife detained on suspicion of murder.

"Actions of creating and spreading rumours via the Internet disrupt public order and undermine social stability, and will never be tolerated," Liu Zhengrong, a senior official with the State Internet Information Office (SIIO), said.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/china-shuts-42-websites-after-coup-rumours/248177-2.html

I suppose the reports are linked, but I don't know more than what I am reading. IBN apparently has something to do with CNN, but I don't know what. I don't know how reliable IBN is.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 03:59 PM

3. This biggest story of the year...

...will be the huge unrest that will engulf China.

Real estate bubble in the U.S.? Take a look at entire empty cities in China.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005231/Chinas-ghost-towns-New-satellite-pictures-massive-skyscraper-cities-STILL-completely-empty.html

Collapsing condo prices in Shangahi, Beijing,...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonchang/2011/11/06/property-prices-collapse-in-china-is-this-a-crash/

And political infighting, where losing doesn't just mean that you don't take office - it means you go to jail or worse, along with your family.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-11/news/sns-rt-us-china-politics-bo-dramabre83a1f2-20120411_1_china-braces-bo-xilai-president-hu-jintao

Not that they are not guilty. Given the corruption that is inevitable in an authoritarian one-party state it is likely that all of the ruling class has done some shady things. Murder is not out of the question. Corruption is a given.

Add to these problems the shaky finances of banks beholden to the elites with huge bad loans on the books (many probably sponsored as "favors" to party bosses who get rich - think "Friends on Angelo" on steroids), enormous ecological problems since pollution is the easiest thing to ignore when you have one party-rule and control of the press, and the day to day widespread corruption. All this means that there is a powderkeg ready to go, as it often has in Chinese history.

The Bo Xilai affair must be viewed in that context. China has not solved the problem of succession and the new generation is coming to the fore with ambitions, sharp knives, and scores to settle. This shutting down of the internet must have been done because of a great fear among at least a large group of the ruling class that China is at a critical stage and that things could quickly spiral out of control. To avoid that the government must try to regain control of information. They will fail.

Things could evolve in rapid and unexpected ways in the near future. And I would be surprised if there was not major unrest in China this year (meaning we hear about it, as opposed to all the current smaller-scale unrest that does not register in the West). And I would expect it to continue until a new equilibrium (which itself may be only marginally stable) is reached.

There is a lot of free energy in the system, and the system is rigid. Bad combination.


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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 04:02 PM

4. Some believed it was purely a technical failure

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