Lasseter explores the Internet according to China

Tom Lasseter, who in 2009 took over the Beijing bureau chief spot for McClatchy Newspapers from long-timer Tim Johnson, has a great post on his blog about the GFW.

Due to a computer glitch, Tom lost his VPN the other night and without it decided to traipse around the Internet as viewed from inside China (and with no tunnel out). Poking around here and there and brushing up against its fiery walls, he concludes that the various blocks in place aren’t just to outright deny access, but rather to make it more convenient to get information from a more controlled and State-friendly source.

Am pausing now to wonder what this tells us.

There are some things that the state here does not tolerate. Trouble in and the Uighur regions. Discussion of the crackdown. Interference by Western groups. Unregulated communication by the masses via platforms like Twitter and YouTube.

Beyond that, the approach is much more nuanced. You can use Google, but it’s not as convenient as Yahoo. You can learn about some history in general, but not in particular. You can write and read blogs, though access is a bit haphazard. In other words, there is a large field of things that the government will allow, with the price of dealing with a sliding scale of hassle.

Read the whole post here: Losing my VPN. A virtual disappearance in China