A Hong Kong Website Gets Blocked, Raising Censorship Fears

At one web supplier, China Cellular Hong Kong, the disconnection — of a kind generally known as a drop motion — signifies direct involvement by the telecom firm. “A drop motion is a particularly configured component of a D.N.S. firewall setting” Mr. April mentioned. “This isn’t one thing the proprietor might have configured, deliberately or by accident.”

China Cellular Hong Kong, an arm of China Cellular, the Chinese language state-run firm, declined to remark. Two others examined by the Instances, SmarTone and Hutchison Telecommunications, that are managed by native conglomerates, didn’t reply to emailed requests for remark.

Customers of PCCW, one other domestically owned service, informed The Instances their entry to the positioning was blocked, too. A spokesman declined to remark.

Whereas the positioning blockage resembles mainland Chinese language censorship at a fast look, the strategies differ sharply from China’s refined system.

With China Cellular, SmarTone and Hutchison, the method that hyperlinks a web site tackle to the sequence of numbers that a pc makes use of to look it up was disrupted. The follow could be akin to itemizing an incorrect quantity underneath somebody’s title in a telephone e-book. If you realize that particular person’s right quantity, you may nonetheless name them.

In mainland China, in contrast, the hardware of the Great Firewall — as Beijing’s system of filters and blocks is thought — actively severs connections. Within the telephone e-book comparability, the decision wouldn’t undergo even in case you have the fitting telephone quantity.

The Hong Kong blockages are “very easy to bypass and clumsy,” mentioned Mr. Tsui, the professor. Nonetheless, he mentioned, the authorities might not need to management the web as tightly as Beijing for worry of scaring off the worldwide banks and worldwide firms which have made the town their Asian headquarters.

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