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JISHOU, HUNAN — It was bound to happen someday. I am now completely shut off from Facebook. So if you want to communicate with me, either use my blog here, IM me or send me an email.

China started blocking Facebook (and other sites) about a year after I arrived. Until recently, I had been able to use the Tor proxy network to “climb the firewall” and access Facebook. China’s net nannies had been blocking the IP addresses of public Tor connections, but I was able to get private bridge IPs by email.

Now even the private bridge connections don’t work. My Tor’s log reports “problem bootstrapping. Stuck at 5%” and there it stays. Apparently, China’s censors have found a way to render the Tor proxy network ineffective, thereby shutting us netizens in China out of the wider WorldWide Web.

Internet restrictions here typically get more severe as we approach significant anniversaries, such the Tiananmen Square protests by university students on June 5, 1989. In fact, I just discovered that just trying to visit sites (wikipedia, bbc.co.uk, etc.) that discuss the events is useless. It seems those are being blocked, too.


Perhaps the blocks will be removed after the anniversary passes. Or maybe not. Meanwhile, instant messaging and emails (and comments on this blog) are the only Internet ways to communicate with me.

By the way, Janice, the books arrived this week. Many thanks!