Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Proxies in China

Posted by MyLaowai on Monday, March 17, 2008

From the good people over at Black & White Cat, this helpful information:

Right now, [most Tibet-related posts are] inaccessible on the mainland because of three keywords that trigger the net nanny: J*khang, Ram*che and P*tala (* = o). This is a strong keyword block – I know of no web-based proxy that can circumvent it. Other bloggers and commenters might like to bear that in mind to prevent their posts being unreadable here.

Since the block is a strong one and Youtube has also been harmonized, now is perhaps the time to mention two of the serious proxies that get through to everything, including BBC news video, can handle Youtube and enable you to watch Google videos.

1) The first is maddeningly slow (though one enthusiast assures me it works quickly on his computer) but you need it if you want to download the faster second option. Tor works in Firefox. Once you’ve installed the program on your computer, you will see a red notice at the bottom right of your brower saying “Tor Disabled.” To turn the proxy on, click once on that notice and it will turn into a green “Tor Enabled.” You can now read or watch anything you want, but slowly. Tor also offers high-quality anonymity and privacy, but only if you read, understand and act on the instructions. For most of us that is not necessary since we simply want to get past the blocks.

2) The second, faster option only works in Internet Explorer. I’m not going to name it in full. I’ll refer to it here as U. If you want it, it’s the first result for this search (look for the word Download on the U page). Don’t even bother Googling it on the mainland unless you are using a powerful proxy like Tor. Unlike Tor, U is an executable file that you save onto your computer, but do not have to install. If you decide you do not want it anymore, delete the file. As with option #1, you can read anything or watch anything, though it often messes up Youtube – if that happens, close down IE and U and try again.

If you choose option #2, you should be aware that it is a creation of FLG and financed by the US government. Bear that in mind when deciding whether you want it on any particular computer. Both these proxies function only in one browser. So if you use Tor in Firefox, you can carry on browsing in Internet Explorer while you are waiting for the page/file to download.

Personally, I use TOR and love it, although it is far from perfect. I also use a highly secure paid-for proxy for those days that even TOR fails me. I haven’t used ‘U’ myself, but I think I’ll give it a shot, if only for interest.

And if you are looking to add another blog to your ‘must-read’ list, then Black & White Cat is a good choice.

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