Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fiji: the waiting

Fiji's military regime claims to have identified 20 people responsible for pro-democracy blogs, and are threatening to "question" them. Judging from their previous actions, this means detaining and beating them - or worse.

Intelligentsiya is taking it pretty well - but its not good news at all. We just have to hope they have the wrong people (not that that's really good either) - or no-one at all.


This is getting kind of... Mainland Chinese. Do you think the interim military junta will really through with its threat to blanket-block google and blogger (and presumably all other blogsites that the bloggers can easily migrate to, like typepad...)? If so, I hope that the technically-and-democratically-minded amongst the New Zealand blogosphere will respond with some server-assistance, along the lines of the 'adopt-a-Chinese-blog' movement. I have spare server space on my own site, but actually have little idea of how to use it. (Also, my site is occasionally blocked from within China where I am currently, so interfacing with it is a bit tricky.) Thoughts?

Posted by Anonymous : 5/16/2007 03:08:00 AM

I would certainly be happy to host some of the blogs on one of my own servers, and I imagine there are plenty of others who would too - ideally, they'd all be spread around as many places as possible.

There's also Tor, which might be useful to the bloggers themselves, to make it difficult to track what's going on.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/16/2007 10:46:00 AM

Tze Ming: just a little, yes. And yes, I'm hoping that NZ bloggers will step up. I have no server space of my own, but there are people who do (hint to Public Address and DPF...)

The Adopt a Chinese blog movement is interesting. We could definitely do that. Anyone want to put up the server space?

As a start, someone could register "" and set up a PeaceFire circumventor?

Michael: I looked at Tor, but its a serious solution for the highly IT literate, aimed more at bloggers than blog readers.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/16/2007 11:52:00 AM

Yeah, Tor is certainly not for the average user, but it could be useful for the bloggers themselves to avoid being traced. On the other hand, running Tor traffic could be suspicious in itself.

I have plenty of (US- and Canadian-based, primarily) server space that I would be happy to have used for that. It really needs to happen before any blocks come in to force, so moving quickly is probably in order.

I don't know how to get something like this organised and up and running, though.

Posted by Michael : 5/16/2007 01:00:00 PM

Thanks IS for highlighting the plight of Fiji's Freedom Bloggers. Over the past few days with the pressure building on us and on our international telecoms gateway FINTEL to block access to our blogs, we have managed to hold up.

But being practical people, we are now seriously considering the suggestions of several people from within Fiji and elsewhere around the world about how to keep on blogging.

Most if not all of us are using "anonymizing" browsers and connections, but we are also also desperately looking for mirrors and those willing to adopt our blogs in the event that we get blocked within Fiji. Our main concern at the moment is being cut off from our readers INSIDE Fiji. With a highly self-censored media, it is very difficult to get critical or telling-it-like-it-is reporting from journalists resident here.

Anybody with information on how they can help and suggestions on what we can do could email

Thanks for lending an ear.

Chief Intelligentsiya

Posted by Chief : 5/16/2007 11:56:00 PM

On Monday, somewhat buckling to military pressure FINTEL blocked Googler servers for about five minutes and there was an outcry from the local ISPs (unreported of course). RFC blog ( was unavailable briefly during Wednesday. Our information is that the junta has hired "hackers from Bangalore, India" (unconfirmed but highly possible) to track our blogs. Information is that those IT people complained to Blogger about RFC "abusing" the service. It was taken down - Intelligentsiya got several emails enquiring about the blog. It's now back up but our bloggers report several posts and comments are missing from the pages.

Posted by Chief : 5/17/2007 12:00:00 AM