Dispatches from Behind the E-Curtain: Where I Can’t Go

Just fired off another angry email about the blocking on my Internet services, and I thought I’d post an update.

No, nothing has come of my emails (aside from practicing my French, and using Google translate as a crutch ;)), but the list I’ve been keeping has been growing longer.

I’m not counting all the blocked sites — a guy’s gotta some privacy! ūüėČ — but this is the example list that I’ve been keeping as my hammer in the emails I’m sending, and I thought I’d share. Also, many of these sites have content on other sites, so many other pages are broken or at least battered. I recently noticed, for example,¬† that Expedia, while accessible on its own, apparently relies on Microsoft for some of its content, and Microsoft.com is blocked.

(Actually, I just realized that this reduced list is just the one’s I’m making a case with, so I’ve added a few more sites that are not crucial but are blocked as well. Heck, while creating this page, I found about a dozen more…)

Keep in mind that the only policy that was ever specified to me was a block for bandwidth concerns.

Before I give the list, let’s play a game, shall we? In the comments, drop me a link to your local-ish newspaper that’s online, and one of your favourite, regularly-viewed sites (relatively clean! no porn!) — if it isn’t already blocked.

I’m curious how much more of the world I’m missing..

Again: a word of caution: this isn’t about France, this is about ARPAE. One company holds all the blame here.

Here’s my list, organized a bit by site type:


  • ananova.com, aolnews.com, bbc.co.uk, businessweek.com, canadaeast.com, cbsnews.com, cnn.com, dailygleaner.canadaeast.com, denverpost.com, express.co.uk, foxnews.com, gawker.com, goodnewsnetwork.org, guardian.co.uk, heraldsun.com.au, huffingtonpost.com, icnetwork.co.uk, independent.co.uk, latimes.com, lifewise.canoe.ca, macleans.ca, montrealgazette.com, nationalpost.com, news.com.au, news.scotsman.com, news.yahoo.com, news.xinhuanet.com, npr.org, nytimes.com, online.wsj.com, people.com, publicradio.org, reddit.com, reuters.com, slashdot.org, smh.com.au,¬†standard.net, straight.com, telegraph.co.uk, telegraphjournal.canadeast.com, theaustralian.com.au, thebruns.ca, thechronicleherald.ca, theglobeandmail.com, theregister.co.uk, thestar.com, thesun.co.uk, timestranscript.canadaeast.com, uk.news.yahoo.com, usatoday.com, vancouversun.com, washingtonpost.com, winnipegfreepress.com, www.life.com, www.metronews.ca, www.slate.com, www.thecoast.ca, www.theguardian.pe.ca

Media delivery:

  • deviantart.com, dropbox.com, emusic.com, flickr.com, ggpht.com (one of Google’s image delivery backends, apparently), grooveshark.com, img0.gmodules.com (another of Google’s image delivery backends), last.fm, magnatune.com, movies.yahoo.com, pbase.com, photobucket.com, rcm.amazon.com (one of Amazon’s backend image delivery services), , s3.amazonaws.com (Amazon S3), video.google.com, youtube.com

Social Media:

  • blogger.com, community.livejournal.com (although not LJ itself?!), digg.com, digitalpodcast.com,¬†feeds.feedburner.com, libsyn.com,¬†mashable.com


  • Amazon (sure, the main site isn’t blocked, but Amazon S3 and other media support sites are, crippling the site layout), cafepress.com,¬†cdbaby.com, Expedia (again, not blocked, but mangled by missing microsoft.com),¬†googleadservices.com, jinx.com


  • iTunes (apple.com is blocked), geeksaresexy.net, imdb.com, penny-arcade.com, pvponline.com, somethingawful.com, tv.com, urbandictionary.com,¬†xbox.com, xkcd.com


  • apple.com, forums.dropbox.com,¬†me.com, microsoft.com

Surprisingly not blocked:

  • cbc.ca, reader.google.com, maps.google.com, carbonite.com (so, I can get my backups from Carbonite, but not Dropbox?), bitstrips.com, freakangels.com (so, I can read Warren Ellis’ online comic without danger, but not Penny Arcade or PvP?),¬†www.metro.co.uk (so, I can read Metro, but not the BBC or CNN?), lifehacker.com (and it’s sister site, io9.com, but not gawker.com,¬†soundcloud.com (so, I can share gigabytes of audio, but not upload my pictures or buy a few MP3s each month?), wikipedia.com (because that would make the prison complete),¬†archive.org (so, I could theoretically download ALL OF THE INTERNET historically?), www.popsci.com (Popular Science, one of the few newsy-sites not blocked), newscientist.com (New Scientist, another newsy-science site not blocked),¬†picasaweb.google.com (so, I can use Google’s image library, but not Apple’s, or Photobucket, or Pbase?),¬†www.anomalist.com (The Anomolist, although as primarily a list of web links, it falls down in usefulness quickly)¬†dailymail.co.uk (The Daily Mail is about the only English newspaper I’ve found so far..),¬†suburbanchicagonews.com (The Courier-News from Chicago, another of the few English news sites; apparently, it’s better than EVERY OTHER NEWSPAPER),¬†wired.com, yimg.com (Yahoo! image backend – so Yahoo! is almost blocked, but a few embedded movies play just fine – got to see Tron trailer! Well, almost.. it kept stalling.. But: Woo! ;))
  • Oh, and all the French newspapers and news sites I can find.

4 thoughts on “Dispatches from Behind the E-Curtain: Where I Can’t Go

  1. Local newspaper: http://www.uniondemocrat.com


    Local News site ran by local Radio Stations: http://mymotherlode.com

    Not blocked! I’ve noticed that a few other radio stations (WFMU, KCBS, CFRA…) aren’t blocked — although all their streaming media is blocked. Curiously enough, the French service of the CBC, RadioCanada is blocked, as is Radio Canada International… The CBC itself isn’t blocked, but the CBC has region-blocked the video (HATE), and the audio stream doesn’t seem to come through.

    Since one of those stations employs a Mr. John Bell: http://thebatfry.com/

    Fortunately, the Batfry itself isn’t blocked – I can get to the forums and the page listing the downloads. Unfortunately, however, I cannot get to the feed (Feedburner is blocked), I cannot see the episode list or download them (Libsyn is blocked) and I cannot buy anything from Mr. Bell (Cafepress is blocked).

    So that’s what? One and a quarter out of three? Thanks for playing? ūüėČ

  2. You can add wat.tv and dailymotion.com
    Surprisingly deviantart.com was available some minutes after my previous post on the previous article. So the idea that this false-censoring internet restriction could only depend on bandwidth issues seems realistic.

  3. …and also skyrock.com (blogging), a few minutes (!) and TinyURL.com

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