BBC Migrates Everything To HTTPS, Immediately Finds Itself Blocked By The Chinese Government

from the weird-freedom-of-not-giving-a-damn-how-much-it-sucks-for-your-constituents dept

Move to HTTPS; lose the Chinese. That's the revised internet maxim. China's Great Firewall has gradually reduced the number of foreign sites accessible by Chinese citizens... "gradually" only in the sense that it's been a continuous rollout steadily decreasing web access. The government blocked an entire content delivery network at one point, so even this gradual rollout has seen its share of spikes.

As is being collaboratively reported at WikiTribune, the BBC says the move to HTTPS for all of it properties has resulted in Chinese citizens being unable to access their contents.

"In accordance with internet industry good practice, the BBC is currently changing the format of internet sites from HTTP to HTTPS. This means content is less vulnerable to tampering and specific pages on our websites can no longer be blocked. Recently the BBC Chinese language site has changed to this new format," a BBC spokesperson told WikiTribune on Wednesday.

The spokesperson added that the corporation’s online audience in China has had no access to any of the BBC’s websites for "around a week."

The BBC recommends a VPN to bypass Chinese web filtering, but that suggestion only goes so far in country where VPN use has been banned for the most part. Businesses still rely on VPNs for securing their communications and content, so the capitalist heart of the authoritarian government has granted exceptions. But the exceptions are limited to VPNs registered with the government, which presumably contain government backdoors.

Government-approved VPNs won't be much use to citizens looking to read news the government has already expressed an interest in blocking. And citizens looking to keep their Citizen Scores™ from dropping will be better off seeking out approved news sources using the heavily-regulated web the government provides.

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Filed Under: blocked, china, encryption, https
Companies: bbc

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  1. identicon
    carlb, 6 Aug 2018 @ 2:36pm


    "The government blocked an entire content delivery network at one point..."

    Just one? I've had many complaints from users over the years that mainland China is blocking Cloudflare, breaking every site hosted under it.

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