Friday, April 6, 2018

F - Firewall

I love the internet. LOVE IT! All those statistics about how much time people spend on their computers every day that sound so depressing can be tripled when applied to me. I read blogs, check the news, post on social media, watch YouTube videos, download movies, do my banking and tons of other stuff.

When I lived in the States, I used it for most of my shopping, booking tickets to anywhere, finding coupons, ordering food, etc. I love love love the internet and fully believe in using it to its full potential.

However, my usage of it has changed drastically in the last couple of years.

Now, I live in China and the internet is a totally different animal over here. It is highly restricted. Whereas using the internet in the States is like a massive orgy in the mud at a rock concert, the internet in China is like doing it with a comatose patient and you're triple wrapped with condoms.

The Chinese government is very proud of what they call the 'Golden Firewall.' The people of China cannot access any non-Chinese social media. Here are just a few of the banned sites:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • tumblr
  • Instagram
They also don't allow most non-Chinese news sites:
  • Fox News
  • CNN
  • TIME
  • Al Jazeera
  • Huffington Post 
They don't allow anything Google:
  • Google maps
  • Blogger
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
And no streaming video sites:
  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Amazon Prime
  • HBO Go
All of these services have their own Chinese version. However, they are all heavily monitored. Saying the wrong thing can get you in a lot of trouble. Don't ever say anything against the government or the Communist Party and as certain events happen they often add to the list of even specific words you cannot use. Here's a link to an article of new restrictions from the last month.

Click the picture to read the article

To even be able to access sites like this (or even my blog) a person in China needs to use a VPN which basically fools the internet provider into thinking you are accessing the internet from a server in another country. It's not legal, but it's the only way to get news from outside China. New laws are passed all the time to penalize people who are caught using them and people who provide them.

For those of you who are reading this and screaming at their screen "YOU IDIOT. YOU ARE POSTING RIGHT NOW ABOUT HOW YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW!!!" You can relax.

I am not breaking the law. I am writing this up in a Microsoft Word document and emailing it to my brother for him to upload to Blogspot since I do not have access to it.

I really miss Netflix.


  1. Wow! Banning the letter N? So, my last name in China would be Oland? I was in China a few years ago and couldn't get to my gmail account to check in for my flight home.
    Do you like living in China even with all the restrictions?

    1. N is banned standing by itself. There is a reason for it but I forget what it is.

      I do enjoy China, but it takes some getting used to.

  2. Fascinating post. Are you rally doing all your blogs on Word and getting them posted elsewhere. Great dedication.

  3. Phew! Thank you for telling us how you are "here" :)

    1. No problem. Have to get creative sometimes.

  4. I think N was something about a recent vote. That's why I thought it was allowed again. Ah well.

    1. They may eventually retract it, but it's still on the banned list for now.

  5. I thought internet was difficult when I first moved to Ecuador five years ago but it was just slow. No banned sites, just hard to load video, audio and photos. That has improved here by leaps and bounds.

    Well done, finding a work around. Maybe one of your sys admin friends (you must have one) could set up a proxy server for you in the US if the VPN every stops working. Theoretically, of course.

    Emily In Ecuador | Fish Market - Puerto Lopez

    1. Even if we use a VPN here, that drastically slows down the internet speed. It's a no-win.


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