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Chinese Government Appears To Be Blocking GitHub Via DNS 61

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Reports are coming in that the social coding site GitHub has been blocked in China. While the service has seen blocks in the country before, this appears to be a much broader denial of service, affecting most, if not all users in the world's most populous country online and offline. GitHub released a statement saying: 'GitHub is still investigating, but it does appear that we’re at least being partly blocked by the Great Firewall of China. We’re looking into it, and will update with more information when we have it.'"
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Chinese Government Appears To Be Blocking GitHub Via DNS

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  • Duh! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 21, 2013 @05:28PM (#42651101)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is an alternative explanation for the block, the automatic train ticket polling plugin hosted on GitHub.
      http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5090700

      I'm from China and knows how hart it is to get a train ticket around the Chinese New Year. Apparently tons of people are using that plugin and brought down GitHub a few days ago. Blocking GitHub actually blocked that plugin.

    • It's funny, I've hosted customers that had sites blocked by China, and the blocks were always very specific.

      So the blocks would affect the main target with urls like this https://github.com/chinesedissident/* [github.com] but didn't affect our other customers like this one https://github.com/otherguy/* [github.com] even if those other customers were using the same domain name.

      In this case however, github makes it so easy to fork/clone the same project, and it's so widely used, the censors probably can't keep the block list up-to-dat

    • and in other news [slashdot.org].

      An unprecendented number of US-based programmers at Verizon and other major Corporations are taking their sick days today.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    News at 11! ... seriously though you'd think the "communist"/"capitalist" nature of github would appeal to China's government's philosophy or something.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:48PM (#42651789)

      Finally, we have a retort for all those nutjobs:

      Random right-wing American: "Open Source/Free Software/FLOSS is communism!"

      Random hacker: "If so, why do the Chinese block it?"

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Uh, in what alternate reality is China Communist? They're actively suppressing communist activists. They wear the name, but want nothing to do with the philosophy (at least not those in power).

    • by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:58PM (#42651855) Journal

      Could it be that the Chinese Government is simply totalitarian with just enough wiggle room to allow a little capitalism to flourish for the moment? That the folks currently running China couldn't give a running fsck at a rolling doughnut what Mao thought, and that they are trying to steer 1.3 billion people through a crazy narrow place between keeping the wheels on the socialist cart and dealing with the pressures generated by information technology. On the other hand calling the folks at github "communist/capitalist" suggests that maybe you lack a deeper understanding of either? Perhaps? Of course you might just be making a bad joke in which case.. hahahahahahah :-)

      But really, China is about control and github is about no control, I fail to see the mystery.

  • But I am sure that most users of any value for GitHub know how to easily circumvent The Great Firewall. But seriously, this is quite pathetic demonstration on China's part. Whom can GitHub hurt, anyway? Too bad I don't think there is a legal method to challenge the Chinese governments decisions for the Chinese citizens and residents.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      I don't know about you, but for me some of the most valuable people on Github are the people submitting issues, bug reports and feature requests.

    • by Genda (560240)

      Frightened men losing control implement obscene and ridiculous actions... do I have to mention the recent spate of laws the media giants have attempted to get passed in the US and the EU?


    • It is about the train ticket program, many people in China feel cheated losing out to people with that program to automatically snip tickets, over a million train tickets were sold online in a mater of a couple of seconds due to it.

      This is a FIVE day holiday for Chinese New Year, and many millions every year go back home to their traditional villages with their families, and being unable to buy tickets due to such a program is quite upsetting for them.

      Hence the block.
  • Like an Apple nation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kotoku (1531373) on Monday January 21, 2013 @05:47PM (#42651245) Journal
    It is just like a nationwide apple app store. When they secretly pick who can compete in China and who cannot with these firewall rules they are manipulating The economy and picking winners and losers without merit (usually Chinese companies that knock off Western ideas).
    • by Genda (560240)

      Yeah that's really crappy behavior... thank goodness we don't do anything like that in this country... ah... ahh... Aahhhhh... Haliburton!!! Scuze me!

  • Open Government (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JestersGrind (2549938) on Monday January 21, 2013 @05:54PM (#42651325)
    They are probably blocking the free download of Open Government from O'Reilly that was a story on Slashdot earlier today. http://news.slashdot.org/story/13/01/21/1644254/oreilly-giving-away-open-government-as-aaron-swartz-tribute [slashdot.org]
  • by joncombe (623734)
    Time was when politicians in most Western countries would point at the Great Firewall of China as an example of a repressive regieme. Now they seek to emulate it.
  • by fufufang (2603203) on Monday January 21, 2013 @06:05PM (#42651401)

    Well, I think quite a lot of people in the west are afraid of the rise of Chinese economy, fearing that China is going to take over the world one day. I think it is exactly this kind of behaviour that is causing the fear. I am from China. I think China is basically like Soviet Union with slightly more freedom and better economy. The political structure and censorship process are both still very Soviet-like. This kind of news does not do any good for China's international image. Most people in west don't want the world to be ruled by a nation that does not allow people's mind to be free. I personally don't want my thought process to be dictated by the commies from Beijing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This kind of news does not do any good for China's international image.

      Even during the 2008 olympics they censored the hell out of the net, even when they promised not to do it, so what makes you think they give a rats ass about their international image?

    • The name alone is hysterical! The people have nothing to do with the government of China. The name really should be the Communist Party's Republic of Oppression of the Chinese People. That would fall much more squarely on the truth side of things.
      • by am 2k (217885)

        The name alone is hysterical! The people have nothing to do with the government of China. The name really should be the Communist Party's Republic of Oppression of the Chinese People. That would fall much more squarely on the truth side of things.

        It's always this way. The DDR (the former name for East Germany) is short for "Deutsche Demokratische Republik", which means "German Democratic Republic". It was anything but democratic.

        • by dryeo (100693)

          Huh? East Germany was very democratic, one man one vote with that man being the supreme ruler or whatever his title was.
          Now here in the west we're not very democratic as only corporations seem to have the real vote.

    • by storkus (179708)

      I have to disagree with you: I have yet to see any real Sinophobia, at least here in America--hell, Chinese (nearly slave) labor helped build the West! Rather, the phobia is of jobs being lost to cheap labor overseas, of which China is just the biggest one (for now), and that will start changing if robotics start taking off (watch the Twilight Zone episode The Brain Center at Whipple's [wikipedia.org] to see how far back this fear goes).

      Truthfully, there is only one real fear of China by the West: that they want to become

    • Most people in west don't want the world to be ruled by a nation that does not allow people's mind to be free.

      No, a lot of people in every part of the world are perfectly okay with that happening, as long as the rules are the ones that they want.

  • Security seems to be much higher here currently. We are having a more difficult time right now shipping anything such as liquids and chemicals using the local logistics companies within China. I've asked around, and the most common answer is that it's due to it being right before the busiest travel period in China.

  • Am I missing something? DNS is the easiest (trivial) block to get around, just enter the dotted quad -- 207.97.227.239 in this case.

    If all DNS traffic to their nameservers is blocked, you might need to enter some more (images.github.com) in your hosts file.

    Really just a very low hurdle -- kinda like the US fiscal-cliff (just a sidewalk crack).

  • governments that work on consensus last forever

    governments based on intimidation, force, and censorship are doomed

    make no mistake, you are going to learn this the hard way (revolt) or the easy way (road map to change)

    good luck

  • by dapic (527891) on Monday January 21, 2013 @10:55PM (#42653405) Homepage

    Usual totalitarian bashing aside, this may actually be the real reason:

    Back ground info: Spring Festival is coming (this year it's Feb. 10th), which calls for all people to go home to unite with their family. And this makes the train tickets very difficult to obtain and the beginning and ending the holidays. The railway ministry in China has build an online train-ticket buying/reserving system (12306.cn) a couple years back and it is now well known when new tickets would be available online, and they sell out within minutes.

    A while ago some Chinese programmer wrote a (naive) browser plugin to automate the ticket reserving operation. A few factors contributed to this plugin causing a lot of extra strain on the already burdened 12306.cn site: it would poll the site repeatedly if the service was not available; as it relies on some Javascript hosted on GitHub and it tries to load that repeatedly as well; the plugin is packaged in some binary distribution of a couple Chinese re-branded browsers which brags about it's ability to "help you grab the ticket".

    As a result, it brought down GitHub a couple weeks ago (when the grabbing of this years tickets begin), and the ticket sellout windows went from minutes to seconds.

    The railway ministry is pissed and claim that this practice is "illegal" or "immoral" and should be banned. Blocking Github could just be the attempt at blocking that "ticket assistant" plugin: No Github, no plugin.

    refernce: http://www.techinasia.com/china-railway-ministry-asks-kingsoft-shut-browser-addon/ [techinasia.com]

    • Wow! And here I thought, that the high speed trading markets was limited to stock markets and concerts.
      Seriously? Train tickets?

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        That and Nexus 4s.

        Anytime you sell a limited commodity below market prices you end up with situations like this. In the case of high-speed trading selling below market prices isn't intended, and the practice is just the result of some people understanding the market better than others (ie a few nanoseconds faster). In the case of most other things there is some strange sense of fairness that dictates that products that are limited in availability be sold at ordinary prices leading to these huge runs.

        The s

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