THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
First impressions of China
Rachel speaks sooth

Badge of honour?

Screen_shot_2 The internet was supposed (among myriad benefits) to make the life of totalitarians more difficult. Information would flow freely and censors would be frustrated. Sadly, what technology can set free, it can also cage. I fancy there would be few government computers in the Peoples' Republic of Scotland United Kingdom, were that not true. I was therefore curious to see what it was like to be behind the "Great Firewall" which limits access to websites from China.

Those of us who blog using Typepad or Blogger are obviously making things too easy - although curiously we are allowed to post - just not to read the results. However, someone presumably had to decide to block Dizzy, Guido and Ellee, as they have their own domains. I am sure our own government would block Guido if it dared, but it's a pretty effete totalitarian who is afraid of Ellee, surely?

The Englishman needs to make more effort. His site is freely available. I can also confirm the accuracy of my recent post about the BBC site being unblocked in China, even if I can't get to my own site to give you a link to it.

I am too busy to research this thoroughly (so please don't ask me to check if your site is accessible). I am simply reporting casual findings from the sites I tried to click through to from my RSS reader. I am always grateful to those of you who allow more text to be distributed via RSS. I am even more so today as the Great Firewall lets forbidden content through that way. Those of you who always irritate me by forcing me to click through from a tantalising glimpse in order to improve your stats are one reader light. Sorry.

I would love it if trying to access forbidden blogs from the PRC resulted in some "Warning! Counter-revolutionary content!!" message. Sadly, as you can see from the screen shot, it just leads to an "internet on a bad day" screen. How disappointing.