Circumventing the Great Firewall

This morning, I was at home with my daughter, Claire, who was sick.  I checked my  Twitter feed.  Jeff Utecht asked if someone could send him the K-12 Online Conference Presentations.  Apparently, they are blocked in China.  I direct Twittered him back telling him I could, and forgot about the interaction. 

A few minutes later, Jeff send me a Skype text message.  After a short im session, we decided that Jeff would create a ftp account on his server and I would upload the K-12 files for the next two weeks.  I had uploaded all of the files to Jeff’s server by 10:30 am EST — I believe that’s 12:30am in Jeff’s time zone in China.

What’s the point of this post? 

First of all, you can’t block everything, and in countries that allow Internet communications, there will always be a way to work around the filters.   Great as that is,  I was worried that the Chinese  government might find Jeff and shut down his server if I blogged about it.  I checked with Jeff and he reassured me that it would not be a problem. 

Second, is that always amazes me how small technology can make the world feel.  The fact that I was chatting with someone around the world was amazing. The fact that I was conscious of the differences in freedom between the US and China and was able to get feedback about the realities on the ground.  

Just one more story of how the web has brought us closer together.

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3 thoughts on “Circumventing the Great Firewall

  1. Great story. I can see how you would be worried about his server. It must have been a long week. I saw your mention of 105 fever earlier in the week. Those are my least favorite days.

  2. Alex, great post. God forbid Chinese teachers get a little professional development, huh? Now is it illegal for Jeff to redistribute within China?

    On a side note, I once had 5 straight days of 106 fever, and I somehow came out ok. Well, I suppose “ok” could be viewed differently by you than me. Yikes, nevermind, please don’t comment…
    🙂

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