Site Blocking – Sublime to the Ridiculous

In the Hutong
In Constant Amazement
1304 hrs.

I can certainly understand (but not condone) the desire of the Chinese government to restrict access to certain websites. I recognize that the nation’s leaders see this as a fragile polity, and for that reason they see the need to restrict access to sites of certain quasi-religious groups, sites whose content may incite unrest, and sites whose prurient content is of highly questionable moral value.

Hell, I can even understand the government blocking this blog.

But can anyone explain to me what possible justification there is to block access to the U.S. Social Security Administration? Is there something somehow subversive going on at the SSA? Is passing out checks to retirees really a front for a huge covert ops/black helicopter conspiracy to take over the world?Even in these days of Libby, Rove, Rumsfield and Cheney, I’d have to say that’s a bit paranoid. For crying out loud, there’s probably more objectionable content on the White House site , and that’s no blocked.

On the other hand, this could be the U.S. government blocking access. I know, for example, that any attempt to access .mil domains in the U.S. from China is blocked at one end or the other, and my money would be on that blockage occurring on the Pentagon end of the tube.

This is what it is like to be a web surfer in China. For whatever reason, both the Chinese and the Americans want to limit what we see.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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