Great Firewall now blocks Tor proxies: bye-bye Facebook 3

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,, 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!

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3 thoughts on “Great Firewall now blocks Tor proxies: bye-bye Facebook

  1. Reply Janice Quinn May 29,2010 1:34 pm

    I am glad you received the books. I have more in a similar vein. If you are interested in more books send me an email — I also have several paperback books that need a new home. I haven’t used internet books. It seems they are next in line for reading anywhere anytime.

    I am always surprised to see the humidity so high in Jishou. I though our southern states were humid, but you have us beat.

    Big NASCAR race weekend here so staying home is best.

    Yesterday completed our school year. Tues and Wed 6th grade had their Holocaust Museum set up in the entire middle school area. Community School of Davidson does a great deal of project learning.


  2. Reply Bob Foshee May 30,2010 12:08 pm

    A great boulder is ground into dust by innumerable drops of water.

  3. Reply Micah S May 30,2010 11:47 am

    I recommend an SSH tunnel for getting through the GFW. It’s a small investment, like $5 a month for a VPS, or maybe you already have SSH access to your current webhost. It’s basically like surfing from a US-based computer, and speeds are comparable to a normal 512k connection.

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