Monday, February 4, 2013

State Media Reports on Great Firewall's Blocking Github

On January 22, Kai-fu Lee published the following on his Sina Weibo:
[Strongly Oppose the Blocking of GitHub] GitHub is the world's largest social programming and code hosting web site, and recently it has complete blocked inside China. Chinese programs are the fourth largest group amongst GitHub's 3,000,000 programmers. GitHub is a preeminent tool for programmers to study and and linking with world. GitHub has no ideology, and has no reactionary content. Blocking GitHub makes absolutely no sense, and will only lead to domestic programmers getting derailed from the International community, and losing their competitiveness and farsightedness. Repost!
【强烈抗议封锁GitHub] GitHub是全球最大的社交编程及代码托管网站,近日在国内遭全面屏蔽。在GitHub的300万会员中,中国是第四大国。GitHub是程序员学习和与世界接轨的首选工具。GitHub并无意识形态,也没有反动内容。封锁GitHub毫无道理,只会导致国内程序员和国际脱轨,失去竞争力和前瞻性。转!

On January 23, the state-sponsored Southern Metropolitan Daily published a report entitled "Technology Web Site GitHub Inaccessible, Programmers Screaming, Lee Kai-fu Suspicious" (技术网站GitHub登录不了 程序员叫苦 李开复质疑). Some excerpts:
[Programmer Yuan Feng] guesses that it is likely that over the last few days railway ticket purchase helpers have caused a flood of traffic that drew the GFW's attention to the web site, and that afterwards it was blocked with human intervention.
On January 24, the state-sponsored Global Times published an English language report entitled "US Tech Website Back Online." Some excerpts:
A renowned US-based software coding website was unblocked on Wednesday in China after an online protest emerged on Sina Weibo, calling the move a hindrance to the country's competitiveness in technology research and development. 
Lee Kai-fu, a prominent Internet figure and former vice president of Google, spearheaded the protest by saying on his Weibo that he "strongly opposes the blockage," adding that GitHub is the world's largest social media programming and code hosting website with more than 3 million users.
. . . .
One reason, the Nandu Daily reported, is the code of the controversial plug-in software to buy train tickets in advance of the Spring Festival travel rush was uploaded onto the site.
. . . .
A creator of the plug-in software, who demanded anonymity, told the Global Times that blockage of GitHub has nothing to do with the software.
"The software has been removed from GitHub since January 16, well before the site was blocked," said the programmer. "The true reason is some people post sensitive articles on GitHub's blogs."
. . . .
GitHub was not the only programming website that had been kept away from Chinese mainland users. Google Code, Google App Engine, SourceForge and several other renowned technical websites have been blocked at times.  
"Some of them were blocked because they contained codes of virtual private network, or VPN, a kind of software that allows users to get over the Great Firewall. Others contained 'sensitive' comments that reveal political opinions," Huang Weilian, a programmer and a renowned IT blogger, told the Global Times, adding that blocking these websites increased the cost of software product development for many Chinese start-up companies.  
On January 25, the Global Times published a Chinese language report entitled "As Ticket Grabbing Browsers Called to Stop, Other Ticket Grabbing Software Appears" (抢票浏览器或被叫停 另类抢票软件悄然出现).  That article made no mention of the Great Firewall, and had only this say about Github's situation: "GitHub could not be accessed in Chinese areas." (我国地区无法访问GitHub)