Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to circumvent the blocking of Malaysia Today

Readers who frequently visit Malaysia Today for Raja Petra Kamaruddin's writings would have noticed that the site has not been accessible from within Malaysia since yesterday. However, visitors from outside the country had no problems accessing the site.

The cause is explained by Malaysiakini:
"In a rare move, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has ordered all internet service providers (ISPs) to block controversial online portal Malaysia Today."
[source: Malaysiakini]

This blocking can be circumvented by surfing through a proxy site:

Go to any of the above sites, and then enter into the proxy site's address bar. The proxy site will then retrieve data from Malaysia Today and then send it to you as if it was coming from the proxy site. Since only data from Malaysia Today is blocked and data from is not blocked, the data will arrive safely.

For more proxy sites, search "proxy site" on google. However, caution is advised as these are the dingier neighbourhoods of the internet, so expect pop up advertisements and maybe even obscene ads. However, the proxy sites listed above are very clean by proxy standards.

The workings of a proxy site can be described by the following analogy:

Imagine an extremely insecure and jealous husband. (For the purpose of this discussion, neglect the question of how an extremely insecure and jealous managed to get married.) He does not like his wife talking to a dashing old friend of hers. But she wants to get their primary school teacher's phone number from him.

Unfortunately, all communication is partially monitored by the insecure husband. He checks each caller, and once he has verified that the caller is not the dashing old friend, he lets her be. So there is no way she can call the old friend. Thus, she decides to use a proxy.

Our heroine calls her friend Stella- she has unrestricted access to Stella. She asks Stella to ring the old friend and get the number from him. (The connection between Stella and the old friend is unmonitored because Stella is outside the control of this insecure husband). Then Stella will pass the information back to the heroine (which is possible because the heroine has unrestricted access to Stella).

Living in China behind The Great Firewall has given me skills I never knew would come in useful.

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