• Revision ID 81110 PUBLISHED
  • 2018-07-26 11:09:17
  • by Deleted User (talk | contribs)
  • Note: saved Smith addition
 
   
Title Title
Breaking: All BBC websites blocked in China, after migrating to HTTPS Breaking: All BBC websites blocked in China, after migrating to HTTPS
Summary Summary
The BBC confirmed to WikiTribune that its online audience in China has had no access to any of its websites for around a week The BBC confirmed to WikiTribune that its online audience in China has had no access to any of its websites for around a week
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>The British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) websites and mobile application have been blocked in China following its transition from HTTP to the more secure <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTPS">HTTPS protocol</a>, as confirmed to <em>WikiTribune</em> by the BBC. </strong> <strong>The British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) websites and mobile application have been blocked in China following its transition from HTTP to the more secure <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTPS">HTTPS protocol</a>, as confirmed to <em>WikiTribune</em> by the BBC. </strong>
<p style="font-weight: 400;">"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 <em>WikiTribune </em>on Wednesday.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">"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 <em>WikiTribune </em>on Wednesday.</p>
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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. "We regret this loss of service and recommend the use of VPN or the Psiphon app, to regain access. We continue to work with local service providers so that specific BBC content can be made directly available to our audience in China. The recent Royal Wedding coverage is a good example of this," they said. 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. "We regret this loss of service and recommend the use of VPN or the Psiphon app, to regain access. We continue to work with local service providers so that specific BBC content can be made directly available to our audience in China. The recent Royal Wedding coverage is a good example of this," they said.
The Chinese embassy in London has not answered <em>WikiTribune</em>'s requests for comment made on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Chinese embassy in London has not answered <em>WikiTribune</em>'s requests for comment made on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Although the BBC's English-language website was <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-29628356">blocked in 2014</a>, this seems to be first time the BBC's app has been blocked. Although the BBC's English-language website was <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-29628356">blocked in 2014</a>, this seems to be first time the BBC's app has been blocked.
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The BBC transitioned to HTTPS protocol<strong> </strong>in the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/b0807897-7c07-44eb-8d5f-3b2d081a3951">last few weeks</a>, which makes it significantly harder for internet service providers to delete individual pieces of content or track which articles or videos users have been looking at (<em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/info/developer-blog/2016/nov/29/the-guardian-has-moved-to-https">The Guardian</a></em>). The BBC transitioned to HTTPS protocol<strong> </strong>in the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/b0807897-7c07-44eb-8d5f-3b2d081a3951">last few weeks</a>, which makes it significantly harder for internet service providers to delete individual pieces of content or track which articles or videos users have been looking at (<em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/info/developer-blog/2016/nov/29/the-guardian-has-moved-to-https">The Guardian</a></em>).
When the BBC's English-language website was blocked four years ago, then-BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said it appeared to be "deliberate censorship." The reason for that block still remains unclear. When the BBC's English-language website was blocked four years ago, then-BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said it appeared to be "deliberate censorship." The reason for that block still remains unclear.
The BBC's website is one of around 8,000 to be blocked in mainland China by the government's<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_China"> internet censorship policy.</a> Users who wish to access the BBC must do so through <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network">virtual private networks</a>. The BBC's website is one of around 8,000 to be blocked in mainland China by the government's<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_China"> internet censorship policy.</a> Users who wish to access the BBC must do so through <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_network">virtual private networks</a>.
Charlie Smith, co-founder of GreatFire.org, a non-profit organization that tracks internet censorship in China, told <em>WikiTribune</em> that the BBC and other news organizations need to take proactive measures to add anti-censorship technology into their mobile apps. Charlie Smith, co-founder of GreatFire.org, a non-profit organization that tracks internet censorship in China, told <em>WikiTribune</em> that the BBC and other news organizations need to take proactive measures to add anti-censorship technology into their mobile apps.
"All news media should assume that their website and apps will get blocked by the Chinese authorities. If you are going to invest in creating Chinese language news then you know that the likelihood of it getting blocked is almost 100 percent," he said. "All news media should assume that their website and apps will get blocked by the Chinese authorities. If you are going to invest in creating Chinese language news then you know that the likelihood of it getting blocked is almost 100 percent," he said.
"It is astounding that news organizations do not make simultaneous investments in ensuring that this news can be consumed by audiences in China even if the authorities make moves to block it," Smith added. "It is astounding that news organizations do not make simultaneous investments in ensuring that this news can be consumed by audiences in China even if the authorities make moves to block it," Smith added.
On Tuesday, the BBC told <em>WikiTribune</em>: "It appears that much of the BBC’s content has been blocked in China. We are considering the best approach to re-establish services to our audience." On Tuesday, the BBC told <em>WikiTribune</em>: "It appears that much of the BBC’s content has been blocked in China. We are considering the best approach to re-establish services to our audience."
<em>WikiTribune </em>took screenshots (see the sources and references section) from <a href="https://www.comparitech.com/privacy-security-tools/blockedinchina/#gref">Comparitech.com</a>, <a href="https://viewdns.info/">ViewDNS.info</a>, <a href="https://www.vpnmentor.com/tools/test-the-great-china-firewall/">VPNMentor.com</a>, and <a href="https://www.webpagetest.org/">Webpagetest.org</a> showing that access to the BBC's website is currently blocked. <em>WikiTribune </em>took screenshots (see the sources and references section) from <a href="https://www.comparitech.com/privacy-security-tools/blockedinchina/#gref">Comparitech.com</a>, <a href="https://viewdns.info/">ViewDNS.info</a>, <a href="https://www.vpnmentor.com/tools/test-the-great-china-firewall/">VPNMentor.com</a>, and <a href="https://www.webpagetest.org/">Webpagetest.org</a> showing that access to the BBC's website is currently blocked.
<strong>Which other countries have banned the BBC? Add more information here:</strong> <strong>Which other countries have banned the BBC? Add more information here:</strong>
At various points, and for various reasons, parts or all of the BBC <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_News">have also been banned</a> from: At various points, and for various reasons, parts or all of the BBC <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_News">have also been banned</a> from:
<ul> <ul>
<li>Zimbabwe</li>  <li>Zimbabwe</li>
<li>Myanmar</li>  <li>Myanmar</li>
<li>Uzbekistan</li>  <li>Uzbekistan</li>
<li>Pakistan</li>  <li>Pakistan</li>
<li>Iran</li>  <li>Iran</li>
<li>Rwanda</li>  <li>Rwanda</li>
</ul> </ul>
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Categories Categories
Internet Asia, China, Current Affairs, Free Speech, Human Rights, Internet, Technology, United Kingdom, Internet
Article type Article type
emerging emerging
Tags Tags
BBC, China, Great Firewall BBC, China, Great Firewall
Author byline Author byline
Yes No
Has hero Has hero
No No
Hero Alignment Hero Alignment
full full
Hero Image URL Hero Image URL
None None
Featured Image URL Featured Image URL
  https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24112526/BBC.png
Sources Sources
<figure id="attachment_80691" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 982px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80691" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27.png" alt="Screenshot from Webpagetest.org" width="982" height="1430" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27.png 982w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-426x620.png 426w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-768x1118.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-703x1024.png 703w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-431x627.png 431w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-620x903.png 620w" sizes="(max-width: 982px) 100vw, 982px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from Webpagetest.org</figcaption></figure> <figure id="attachment_80691" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 982px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80691" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27.png" alt="Screenshot from Webpagetest.org" width="982" height="1430" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27.png 982w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-426x620.png 426w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-768x1118.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-703x1024.png 703w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-431x627.png 431w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110337/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.24.27-620x903.png 620w" sizes="(max-width: 982px) 100vw, 982px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from Webpagetest.org</figcaption></figure>
<figure id="attachment_80694" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 1886px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80694" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33.png" alt="Screenshot from VPNmentor.com" width="1886" height="1288" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33.png 1886w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-620x423.png 620w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-768x524.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-1024x699.png 1024w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-918x627.png 918w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-1536x1049.png 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 1886px) 100vw, 1886px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from VPNmentor.com</figcaption></figure> <figure id="attachment_80694" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 1886px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80694" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33.png" alt="Screenshot from VPNmentor.com" width="1886" height="1288" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33.png 1886w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-620x423.png 620w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-768x524.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-1024x699.png 1024w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-918x627.png 918w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110345/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.33-1536x1049.png 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 1886px) 100vw, 1886px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from VPNmentor.com</figcaption></figure>
<figure id="attachment_80692" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 2000px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80692" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55.png" alt="Screenshot from ViewDNS.info" width="2000" height="1446" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55.png 2000w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-620x448.png 620w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-768x555.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-1024x740.png 1024w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-867x627.png 867w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-1536x1111.png 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 2000px) 100vw, 2000px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from ViewDNS.info</figcaption></figure> <figure id="attachment_80692" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 2000px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80692" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55.png" alt="Screenshot from ViewDNS.info" width="2000" height="1446" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55.png 2000w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-620x448.png 620w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-768x555.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-1024x740.png 1024w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-867x627.png 867w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110340/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.55-1536x1111.png 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 2000px) 100vw, 2000px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from ViewDNS.info</figcaption></figure>
<figure id="attachment_80695" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 2410px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80695" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16.png" alt="Screenshot from Comparitech.com" width="2410" height="1240" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16.png 2410w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-620x319.png 620w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-768x395.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-1024x527.png 1024w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-1200x617.png 1200w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-1536x790.png 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 2410px) 100vw, 2410px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from Comparitech.com</figcaption></figure> <figure id="attachment_80695" class="wp-caption aligncenter" style="width: 2410px;"><img class="size-full wp-image-80695" src="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16.png" alt="Screenshot from Comparitech.com" width="2410" height="1240" srcset="https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16.png 2410w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-620x319.png 620w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-768x395.png 768w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-1024x527.png 1024w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-1200x617.png 1200w, https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/wikitribune-uploads-master/2018/07/24110350/Screen-Shot-2018-07-24-at-10.16.16-1536x790.png 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 2410px) 100vw, 2410px" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Screenshot from Comparitech.com</figcaption></figure>

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