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YouTube Partially Unblocked In China

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the sneak-preview dept.

Censorship 47

hackingbear writes "After China unblocked certain sensitive keywords in search engine baidu.com last week, YouTube is now partially, quietly unblocked. Users inside China can, without bypassing the Great Firewall, visit the site, search for sensitive keywords, and see uncensored results and comments. The videos themselves, including those not related to politics, remain blocked, however. Given that the Chinese government likes to make major changes in gradual, experimental steps, it is unclear what this round of Internet loosening will lead to eventually. At the meantime, many netizens in the country express their welcome of the moves as a good start through microblogging."

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Not for me. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519237)

Well, I can't reach it from my town at all. I don't get a 'connection terminated' message anymore, but it never loads.

Slashdot in China? (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519243)

wonderful news!

Re:Slashdot in China? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520885)

Subject line sounds like a John Adams opera...

Re:Not for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519255)

I tried to play some of my favorite Beatles' tunes - pulled down by EMI request. I have purchased copies, I just like to look at the lyrics, artwork, comments,etc. ...Sucks.

Re:Not for me. (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520201)

Sssshhh, we are talking about the filthy commie censorship here, not the moral and understandable capitalist one...

Re:Not for me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519351)

Same here, city of Yantai, Shandong province.

Re:Not for me. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519565)

Same here in Sanya, Hainan province.

Probably a better title would be YouTube partially unblocked in parts of China.

Not that I really care about it, I haven't really missed not having youtube and I've been more productive for it.

Re:Not for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39522317)

Get a VPN, like every sane person in China

Re:Not for me. (1)

Gwala (309968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519625)

Same here, Shanghai.

Re:Not for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519779)

Same here, Chengdu

Re:Not for me. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520593)

Same here in Shanghai, with ChinaNet FTTH. mtr shows that the IPs are null-routed (or blocked with -j DROP):

Host Loss% Snt Last Avg Best Wrst StDev
1. 192.168.2.1 0.0% 14 1.1 1.7 1.0 4.1 0.9
2. x.x.x.x 0.0% 14 3.7 23.8 2.8 258.6 67.7
3. x.x.x.x 0.0% 14 5.7 4.3 2.4 10.5 2.1
4. x.x.x.x 0.0% 14 4.2 16.9 4.2 101.8 27.9
5. 61.152.86.58 0.0% 14 5.7 5.8 4.7 7.7 0.8
6. ???

(sorry for obfuscating the IPs and posting anonymously, but it's forbidden to talk about censorship, and I don't want to get in trouble as I do all of my earnings using Internet ...)

Re:Not for me. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519923)

Posting as anon for the simple reason that I am currently in Kunshan, China. I can report that www.youtube.com alternates
between "The connection has timed out" and "The connection has been reset". The sequence is:

1. Upon first visit to the website the "The connection has been reset" pops up instantly.
2. All subsequent retries become "The connection has timed out".

IMHO I do not think that it is so much the politically sensitive things that are the problem but the good old fashion protectionism.
Give it time and as soon as the local video website are large and thrive, then the foreign websites will most likely be partially
accessible with many "The connection has timed out" and "The connection has been reset" to show the average Chinese user
that the foreign websites are terrible.

A cynical "foreign devil"

Re:Not for me. (1)

jabbany (2425264) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521899)

Seems to differ cross ISPs and only the HTTPS version works where I am (no video as well).

Re:Not for me. (1)

Universe22 (2268980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39523211)

Wuhan, Don't make sense. It's still "The app is currently unreachable."

Re:Not for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39523727)

Beijing same...

Re:Not for me. (1)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39524033)

Read the TFA

At the mean time, internet users from Guangdong province, Fujian Province, and big city like Shanghai and Beijing are able to access YouTube by using HTTP secure method. Any type of video contents can be successfully search and comments can be read, but most of the videos are unable to play.

So try the HTTP secure method maybe. I can't verify myself here outside of China.

What is a baidy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519247)

*baidu.com*

Ooops. (2)

Formalin (1945560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519321)

It turns out someone at party headquarters plugged in the wrong patch cable, after all.

Not (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519335)

I am in Beijing. YouTube is not accessible from here, using http or https. A bad prank or a slip up of the Great Firewall network engineers which has probably been patched up by now.

Re:Not (2)

sdk4777 (1013597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521459)

In Shanghai, the connection also times out.

bait (5, Interesting)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519353)

I don't think this is so much a loosening of restrictions as it is a honeypot operation to entice people to get caught with redder hands than before.

Re:bait (1)

unreadepitaph (1537383) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519367)

I think you hit the nail on the head.
Crushing the next generation of opposition before it starts?

Re:bait (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519549)

Yes it shows you have news from outside or are trying at random times to get the service.
What the system expects is everybody to feel so watched they don't even think about trying.
News like this from "outside" just makes people glow on the networks. You join a list and a count starts.

Re:bait (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520335)

Except, from what I have gathered, a wide spectrum of light opposition exists in China. There are lines you cannot cross, but talking about corruption, talking about pollution, is tolerated for instance. I doubt that people merely looking for information would be bothered a lot. They already have a hard time preventing people from posting opinions, I doubt they are willing to spend the resources to go after the people reading them.

There are voices in the Chinese communist party to ditch censorship totally, or to make it what it was first supposed to be : a counter-pornography filter and to remove political subjects from the filtered list.

China is not North Korea, it is possible that this move is the real thing.

Proof that the Chinesd gov't has a sense of humor (5, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519381)

"Oh, you want to try YouTube? No problem! Here you go -- videos are all blocked, but you can read YouTube's high quality comments sections as much as you like!"

It's beyond perverse...

Re:Proof that the Chinesd gov't has a sense of hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519415)

I really wish i had mod points, used my last one a few articles ago... fucking hilarious

Re:Proof that the Chinesd gov't has a sense of hum (1)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520037)

So it's just like YouTube access from Germany now.

Damn you chinese, stealing all our ideas! What's next, a note saying "GOMA" is responible for the blocking?

Re:Proof that the Chinesd gov't has a sense of hum (1)

meowris (1988866) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521217)

That's what I call backward innovation. Not the speak the trolls roaming and commenting around the YouTube... Ugh

Still down in ... (1)

enickel (2318084) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519401)

... Guangdong. Time to clean the tubes

Chinese government just did a power move. (5, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519425)

Ever see any youtube video comments? Some of the stupidest things you'll ever hear are on youtube comments. Chinese citizens will think the rest of the world is populated by idiots and they'll beg for isolationism.

Re:Chinese government just did a power move. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520129)

Chinese citizens will think the rest of the world is populated by idiots

For the most part, they'd be correct.

Re:Chinese government just did a power move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521461)

The world is mostly populated by idiots. And this will work because China is also part of the world and thus mostly populated by idiots.

Confirmed, not unblocked (2)

LS (57954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519463)

It is currently still blocked (posting from Beijing).

Re:Confirmed, not unblocked (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519517)

It is currently still blocked (posting from Beijing).

The censorship policy in China is pretty much a local affair. My experience is that censorship in Beijing is stricter than in Shanghai. Censorship tends to be even looser away from the big cities. So when you see these announcements about "site xyz is unblocked in China", it is usually really just a change in one locality.

Re:Confirmed, not unblocked (1)

GPLHost-Thomas (1330431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39520609)

Yet, TFA has:

At the mean time, internet users from Guangdong province, Fujian Province, and big city like Shanghai and Beijing are able to access YouTube by using HTTP secure method.

Which is simply plain wrong...

Re:Confirmed, not unblocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39521087)

I read an article somewhere, where the Chinese government wonders why people emigrate out of the country don't come back.

They can't seem to realise that a healthy amount of bashing is required for a well balanced government. Look at UK parliament. It's a circus and soap opera at the same time (ORRRDDDEER) :)

Not unblocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519489)

Still blocked here in Shanghai as of 13:30 local time. Both http and https.

For anyone thinking to pull a Mike Daisey just remember lots of us live in China. It may be a strange and far-off place to you but to us it's home.

Reality and Accepted Submissions... (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519491)

I will be the first to admit that I don't know dick about Chinese internet availability. I have one high school buddy who has been teaching and living in China for 4~5 years, and married a Chinese girl. As far as I can tell from his experience, told to me: the censorship issue is manifest mostly in that western entertainment media are the most contained. Social and internet access to most websites are okay, but when he came to visit I explained the concept of Justified to him. He had not seen the show, nor is he a Raylon type guy. He would appreciate it, but the show is censored in China. I am not sure if I even think that is a problem, seeing as I have never been there. A lot of slashdotters comment on places they have never been. If you have been to China, and can speak to the "great firewall" from personal experience, let me know. I and my pals would appreciate some input from english speakers (I can do german, and some very limited french and spanish, and two phrases of Japanese) Gao ming tien da hen gao. Un Gobiernio Bwag Machu Pichu.

It's a show!!! (1)

triplaA (2606771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519511)

Don't let this intentional act fool you, the Chinese communist party (CCP) often use other events to distract something INSIDE China. There is a power struggle within the communist part, you get this temporary unblock so others can talk about instead of the power struggle. When the news of Tibet self immolation is on the news / high speed crash cover up, you get China is in feud with Vietnam over the oil exploring ship being "sabotaged" ...

nsg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519777)

www.niels-stensen-gymnasium.de

In the immortal words of Admiral Ackbar: (2)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39519789)

IT'S A TRAP!

NSG und so you know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519809)

nsg ist ne schule voll cool yo waslos hier keine ahnung was soll ich posten alter wasn falsch hier
klick [niels-sten...mnasium.de]

NSG ist super (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519817)

ich gehe auf das NSG hier klicken [niels-sten...mnasium.de] !!!!

So much for productivity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39519833)

Well, there goes China's GDP growth.

Perspective change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39520649)

The question is why anyone would want access to you tube in the first place. Half the time I exclude it from my search results as it is.

I'm Chinese (1)

conscarcdr (1429747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39521309)

And look at the all the fucks I give.

How YouTube was/is (partially) unblocked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39538551)

We monitor more than 10,000 URLs (plus users can add/test any new ones) from inside China to find out which ones are blocked and in what way. Here's our data on YouTube:
https://en.greatfire.org/www.youtube.com
https://en.greatfire.org/https/www.youtube.com

As you can see, the unencrypted version of YouTube is almost completely blocked. The encrypted one (HTTPS) however has been accessible several times recently.

I believe this is not so much to do with a changing policy or with unintentional changes, but rather blocking encrypted websites is done in a different way.

Regular websites can be blocked by DNS Poisoning, by IP or by looking for keywords in the request, including the name of the host. Encrypted websites cannot be blocked by inspecting keywords. So if YouTube:
1. Introduces a HTTPS version, and
2. Changes it's IP (which is done frequently anyway), and
3. The domain name isn't being DNS poisoned (or the user uses an alternative DNS service):
Then it will be unblocked.

Now, even the encrypted version of YouTube does not encrypt the actual streaming of videos - hence the site can be browsed but videos can't be viewed.

We wrote a story on this topic recently: https://en.greatfire.org/blog/2012/mar/facebook-google-plus-uncensored-search-etc-without-vpn

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