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Adopt A Chinese Blog
Jamais Cascio, 21 Jun 05

adoptachineseblog.jpgThis idea is so brilliant it gives me chills.

Blogging is popular in China, enough so that the government is paying more attention now to what people say on them. Numerous blogs have been shut down, either from government pressure or just by Chinese host providers fearful of its users possibly breaking the law. In addition, an April 2005 law mandates that all non-profit website owners must register their sites with their real personal information. The recent revelation that Microsoft was censoring various terms in the blogging service they offer in China only added to the fear that free speech on the Chinese web would be harder and harder to find. Some Chinese bloggers managed to put their websites on offshore servers, but the language and cost issues are prohibitive for many.

Adopt A Chinese Blog is an end-run around official censorship. How? By making the hosting of Chinese blogs a distributed, collaborative process:

This is how it works. A blog (or any website, really) using an independent hosting service hosts a blocked blog. (This simply means creating a subdirectory where the adopted blog can be published and store its files.) The host blog should not have a significant readership in the country where the adopted blog is blocked, because the host blog is running a (small) risk of being blocked in that country. [...]

By distributing the blocked blogs across a variety of hosts, the task of blocking a large number of blogs becomes increasingly difficult. If any adopted blog is blocked, it can say its thank yous and farewells to its host and then move onto a new host.

If the multitude of Chinese blogs facing official censorship instead became hosted on a multitude of independent servers around the world, the Chinese government would end up having to block a significant portion of the net to shut them out -- and that portion would grow and grow as the blogs found new adoptive hosts. The traffic and maintenance demands on the adoptive site would likely be minimal, and the adoptee gets a host server free from government censorship.

I'd like to see an equivalent program for Iranian bloggers, or for bloggers/writers in any other country facing official restrictions on what they can say online.

People wishing to talk about this project in more detail can visit the Adopt Chinese Blog Forum.

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this socio civic activity is really gaining ground lately , in fact , im somehow lending a helping hand no matter how small it is..

Posted by: 46664 on 22 Jun 05



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