Great firewall of China blocks RSS

When I was in China last month, one of the ways I got around the Great Firewall of China's censorship was by reading RSS feeds, which the Politburo wasn't really hip to. Someone wised them up.
Unfortunately, China appears to have finally gotten wise to RSS as of late--reports have been popping up from our readers and around the web of not being able to access FeedBurner RSS feeds as early as August of this year. More recent reports tell us that the PSB appears to have extended this block to all incoming URLs that begin with "feeds," "rss," and "blog," thus rendering the RSS feeds from many sites--including ones that aren't blocked in China, such as Ars Technica--useles


  1. The article starts out saying the GFW is not known for consistency, and that’s true, which is why it’s really not true that ALL incoming URLS beginning with “feeds”, “rss” and “blog” are blocked. For one thing, all of’s blogs begin with “blog”, and so does Wired’s Danger Room – and I can read both fine from here in China. The only RSS block I’m aware of is Feedburner – a big block, to be sure, but that was inconsistently put in place as well. China Telecom blocked it first, while the other major carrier China Netcom didn’t follow for two weeks. And Feedburner has been blocked before with no explanation, like Blogger.

    Anyway, I read this BoingBoing post on a Feedburner feed via Bloglines AND Google Reader. If they wanted to kill RSS, they’d have blocked those, and netgator, and a dozen others, and I would’ve chewed off my own arm.

  2. Hey there, comrade, that’s the People’s Republican Great Firewall of China for Glorious Furtherment of Beating Down the Western Dogs’ Substandard Ideologies you’re talking about

  3. There is of course no reason why RSS feeds have to have any particular keywords in their URLs. Is the GFW smart enough to block a site based on whether it was previously seen in a <link rel=alternate> tag? Sounds like not.

  4. What happened to the long list of comments that was here yesterday?

    Is Boing Boing editing out messages critical of China?

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