India has clearly joined the Internet Filtering Club of China, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Euthopia.
Several bloggers in India wrote that geocities web pages and blogspot blogs hosted on Blogger.com were blocked by some ISPs in India following Government orders.
The issue is getting considerable amount of attention because Google's Blogger software is the online home of several hundred thousand Indian bloggers.
How do I know if my ISP blocked access to Blogs ?
» Using DOS Ping Tool. Type the following commands in the MS DOS window (Start->Run->Cmd->Enter): ping blogspot.com; ping blogger.comIf your ISP has not restricted access to blogspot site, you should see something like this:
Pinging blogspot.blogger.com [184.108.40.206] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 220.127.116.11: bytes=32 time=329ms TTL=239
Ping statistics for 18.104.22.168:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 294ms, Maximum = 337ms, Average = 323ms
I am Blog Reader. How can I read a blocked blogspot.com site ?
Luckily, there are a ton of alternatives to access restricted websites. Here are some of the most popular workarounds:
1. Use RSS Readers - Open the home page of Newsgator Online, Bloglines or Google Reader and subscribe to the blogger blog rss by typing xxx.blogspot.com/rss.xml or xxx.blogspot.com/atom.xml in the URL field. You'll be able to see the content because it's served from the cache of web readers, not from Blogger's server.
2. Via Email Services Go to Feedblitz or FeedBurner, type the blog address and you will automatically receive the entire blog posts in your email inbox as soon as the blogger posts a story. You will however miss reading the comments.
3. Via Google Translate - Open Google Translate, type the address of the blogspot blog you want to read and select Chinese to English from the language drop-down. The older English-English Google proxy server trick isn't working anymore. You can also use Google Translate to translate English into Hindi.
4. Via Google Transcoder - Google allows you to read websites on mobile phones using their Transcoder service. You may use the same service to read website on the desktop served via Google .
I am a Blogger and my blog is hosted on a blogspot.com domain. How can I ensure that readers see my blogspot.com blog without interruption ?
Here are a couple of things that may help your blog readers in India, China, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan read your blog even when the local Government has blocked access to the sites:
1. Use Feedburner for syndicating Blog Content [tutorial] - even if the blogspot.com site is blocked, feeds hosted on feedburner will still be accessible.
2. The good news is that while blogspot.com site is blocked, blogger.com is still accessible which means bloggers can create/edit/delete posts or reader comments from the blog control panel. However if the blogger.com site is also blocked, here's what bloggers can do to administrate their blogs:
» Convert the Blogger.com Hostname to a Numeric IP address (http://22.214.171.124) - Most ISPs block site by name but not by IP address so this should work.
» If the ISP is smart and even blocks the numeric ip address, convert the IP address (126.96.36.199) to a decimal number (1113984868) - Now access the blogger start page by typing http://1113984868
* Looking at the server referral logs, I can see recent traffic from BSNL, Satyam Sify, Airtel Broadband, TouchTel India, VSNL Sancharnet, AsiaNet and Bharti Cellular. However, there are no current referrals from Reliance Infocom, MTNL, Star Hathway and Tata Internet Services which may signal that they are indeed blocking access to blogspot sites.