Chrter 08: Found an Open Link!

Written by Julen Madariaga on January 16th, 2009

For those who are following the developments around Chrter 08:

I have discovered a website containing the full original Chinese Charter (+ translations) that is still not blocked by the censors. It is also open to comments, apparently not manipulated:

https://knol.google.com/k/-/-/3jhi1zdzvxj3f/9

Thanks to heroic advocate of freedom of speech David Ferguson who, by introducing himself as an editor in a Chinese goverment news portal (china.org) and then pretending to be a detractor of the Charter, has obtained the insider information. And what is more, he has the guts to publicize this link right in the Opinion section of their website. Respect!

Re the link. It is a website at knol.google apparently set up by blogger Zuola. It is very surprising that it has escaped the censorship (Zuola’s blog itself is censored) and I can only think it is because:

  1. It uses https connection and the quick “Charter patch” has somehow missed it, or else,
  2. Advocate Ferguson has asked his bosses at the State Council to unblock it.

Please pass this link to anyone you know in China. Let’s get the document finally circulated, and send your thanks to the China Internet Information Center at china.org.cn

https://knol.google.com/k/-/-/3jhi1zdzvxj3f/9

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Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan
    20
    11:06
    AM
    Xujun

    Hi Uln,

    I also saw this blog when I was doing research for the Chrter 08 report. The site is hosted in the US, I guess that’s why it has escaped the censorship.

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Jan
    20
    11:26
    AM
    uln

    Hi Xujun, thanks for commenting. Actually, hosting outside mainland China does not make you censor-proof. A good example is your own blog, which is hosted on blogger in the US (I am guessing), but this doesn’t stop it from being blocked in China.

    A different thing is to close down a website. For example, what they recently did to the bullog blog, they closed it down completely, and they could do it because it is hosted in the mainland.

    So, one thing is what I call a block (website runs normally but it is just not accessible from China) and a different thing is to close down (website totally/partially dissappears). Chrter 08 has suffered both kinds of censorship: some internationally hosted websites have got the BLock, while some mainland hosted blogs (like Sina) have had some threads erased, and others (like bullog) have had the whole site erased/closed down.

    I hope these clarifies a bit the difference for those not livig in mainland China, as the vocabulary we use is not always very precise :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Jan
    20
    12:28
    PM
    Xujun

    Aha. Do you mean you can read this (Zuola’s) blog normally but not mine? Could it be that Blogger.com is blocked as a whole, but not Knol?

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Jan
    20
    1:15
    PM
    uln

    Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. Except that this is not Zuola’s blog, it is just a page he set up to post the documents and invite comments. Zuola’s blog is at zuola.com and as far as I can see now it remains unaccesible.

    And yes, it is blogger as a whole that is blocked, not only your blog. That is a very annoying side-effect of the Great Firewall of China. They have little respect for individual users and they think nothing of closing a whole domain even if it affects many “innocent” people. A good example is the guys at Skritter (see my blogroll), who don’t deal with any sensitive subjects and actually do a great cultural service, but they have been blocked as part of a general IP/domain block.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. Jan
    20
    10:57
    PM
    Xujun

    One more question Uln. Is the Chinese government a bit more tolerant of expat blogs in China?

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. Jan
    21
    12:38
    AM
    uln

    Not as far as I know. But it IS more tolerant of blogs written in English than in Chinese, for sure. That is because the impact they can have in China’s “harmonious society” is much lower, given that most Chinese don’t care to read blogs in English.

    And it is definitely also more tolerant (or less informed) of little blogs like mine than it would be of large sites like BBC. I can get away with many things simply because I am not important enough to be significant. Let’s hope it lasts :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. Feb
    15
    12:12
    PM
    alou

    The link is censored in Baidu and google.cn I wonder whether google.com.hk and google.com.tw are censored too.

    [Reply to this comment]

    uln Reply:

    Oh, yeah, of course, it is censored at the level of the search engines. As far as I know, it is not this link in particular that is censored, it is all links that contain the words “lingbaxianzhang”.

    But the site itself is not blocked and you can access freely from China, thanks to Mr. Ferguson, the democratic 烈士. Try again click on the link above, it should open Ok, I just did a minute ago.

    [Reply to this comment]

  8. Feb
    16
    12:34
    PM
    alou

    Oh, I guess that I dont know how it works but how come I can find your blogs about lingbaxianzhang in Baidu and google.cn

    [Reply to this comment]

  9. Feb
    16
    12:55
    PM
    uln

    Hi, I actually meant to say 零八宪章, I spelled it out as “lingbaxianzhang” because I don’t know if you can read characters. If you can not, try copy/paste the characters and search on baidu, the result will be very different.

    As for the pinyin writing “lingbaxianzhang”, you are right, it looks like my blog is not blocked by baidu. Why? I have no clue, seriously, I wonder if I have a guardian angel or something in the propaganda department. What is even more amazing is that I make it into Baidu’s first page, it is the first time it happens to this blog (that I have noticed).

    Perhaps the article above fooled them into thinking I dig china.org. Perhaps it is just because I am a very small English speaking blogger, and normally it is to the Chinese language ones that they pay more attention, for effectiveness and also for HR reasons (i,e. how many people in the propaganda department can speak good enough English to read foreign blogs and decide which is censorable?)

    [Reply to this comment]

  10. Nov
    8
    7:27
    PM
    王兵

    基于一个中国公民权利和自由的表达,特签名支持!

    [Reply to this comment]

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