Internet in China

<p>A friend of mine's son will be doing an internship in China soon and he was wondering if there was anything he needed to know regarding setting up a Skype account, or proxy servers or anything else that was needed. </p>

<p>Could one of you lovely CCers in China please PM and let me know if there is anything that he needs to know about internet service restrictions in China. What's blocked, etc.</p>

<p>Thank you!</p>

<p>I don't live in China but I have a friend there. I do know that Facebook is blocked (she uses a proxy server to check her fb).</p>

<p>If it's not too expensive, I would have him order a Vonage router (probably one year commitment to Vonage) and get a Vonage phone number and bring a cordless phone with him that can plug into the Vonage router. (He'll need the power adapter, too, of course.) The Vonage service works best if he has a fixed location for Internet access -- in a home or dorm or apartment -- where he can keep the Vonage router on all the time. Vonage works in the cities. It should work everywhere.</p>

<p>Skype works best for people on the move, but it has problems. I would recommend that he set up a Skype account just for the internship. He can leave a fixed message on his regular Skype account alerting people to his new, temporary Skype address. He may need to use the government-monitored Skype software for China once he's there...which is why he shouldn't use his permanent Skype account in China. He should expect the temporary account to be compromised and (as with Vonage calls) assume someone is listening -- even if it's a remote chance. China employs as many as 50,000 people to monitor and censor Internet communications.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/technology/internet/02skype.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/technology/internet/02skype.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Considering how capitalism is so information-intensive, I marvel at the extent to which the Chinese have mastered capitalism while, at the same time, they are managing to exercise near-absolute control of the flow of digital information within and across its borders. I remember predicting the collapse of the Iron Curtain when, just as a test and for kicks, some colleagues were able to get a fax of a centerfold and the front page of the Wall Street Journal into our eastern European hotel room without (as far as we knew) anyone being wiser.</p>

<p>That was about 20 years ago yet the Bamboo Curtain has held fast. There are holes and leaks, to be sure, as well as the flow of people across borders and all the exchanges that entails. Still, China has got its "A" game going when it comes to mastery over digital communication. Depending on how much he stays connected to news, politics and even religion...he should expect to be a little disoriented when he returns from his internship. The news he will get will largely have anchorpersons decrying the American hegemony and turning various events on their head. What he may also gain an appreciation of on his return is how Western news organizations have their own biases and filters (and I'm not referring to the liberal-conservative complaints levied at MSNBC and FOX News).</p>

<p>All that said, my S went there before 8th grade with a couple friends and a family. They traveled around and I got one quick phone call from him using a complicated service called e-Kit that he could access from any hotel desk. None of the technology or censorship made a difference to him.</p>

<p>It can take a long time to get a Chinese travel visa. Although my wife and I didn't go on that particular adventure with my S, we went ahead and got visas at the same time his was being processed so that, if necessary, we could get on a plane ourselves. We try to do that as much as possible -- having someone trailing behind with a visa ready-to-go for countries where the visa process takes time. For an internship this summer, it may be too late for your friends to do that, so file that thought for future reference.</p>

<p>twitter,facebook and youtube are blocked here. but there are several proxy servers to get away with that...so its not a big deal
other than that, your friend's S should be fine</p>

<p>I travel to China a lot. Just download skype before they leave because otherwise they'll get the chinese version which delivers you with a "trojan virus" which can apparently take over your computer....</p>

<p>If they can pass facebook, youtube, and wikipedia articles concerning censorship and whatnot, then they should be fine.</p>