YouTube or China?

A reader posted an interesting comment alerting me to some odd behavior concerning a video on YouTube about Tibet: from Canada this video is available, from China it is not. However, the video is not subject to the same notification as videos removed for terms of use violations or videos that are restricted by geolocation.

It is unclear to me if YouTube is restricting the video or if one of their streaming servers is blocked by China, or some other form of filtering by China, that is interfering with the ability of YouTube’s flashplayer to stream the video. Thoughts?


  1. This is really interesting and I’d like to look into it some more. Perhaps China has more advanced deep packet blocking?

  2. I’ve confirmed this behavior myself using a Chinese proxy. Further repeated attempts to refresh the page led to Youtube disappearing all together.

    “The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again.”

    Baidu comes up just fine using this same connection even after Youtube disappears. I’m still not sure what I’m seeing here (haven’t done any packet captures) but it does look like RST are injected when this video is accessed (other videos were fine). Interestingly the XML feed for the video does not show Youtube filtering at all.

  3. I was able to access this video from Beijing Wednesday June 18 around 9 am

  4. Very strange. I am living in Beijing for my job at the moment and have started getting this: “The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again.” almost instantly on many sites that were working before. I noticed that when I look for a piece of pr*xy software in any download site or in any search engine (google, yahoo, altavista, etc.) I instantly get that message — and then when I want to return to my home page (google desktop) it takes around five minutes before it will connect to it. Even the word “pr*xy” typed into google will trigger that message — yet any other search term like “football” or whatever and the connection is fine.

    It’s pretty scary that there is a filter that works so fast like that – I mean it’s the feeling I have some guy standing right behind me with a kill switch.

    Just to check, I removed all firewall protection, script-blocker, spam filters, and checked everything — same situation every time. Same for any site with the word “blog” or “feed” in the header.

    Major bummer and I won’t be be able to sit still until I beat this.

    I am wondering if even this text will get through to here. I also wonder — if they can filter text like that, how many of my emails and so on end up in some sort of ‘to be reviewed’ basket. Bastards.

  5. Use Tor to surf the internet.

    GFW is known to filter the internet in China.

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