BBC is broadcasting a documentary series titled "A year in Tibet". From the program description on BBC Web site, this documentary shows the real life today in Tibet. The first segment was shown on Mar. 6. Not surprisingly, there is a Youtube video of this first show. Surprisingly, if you attempt to access this video in US, Youtube says "This video is not available in your country." Interestingly, people in UK have confirmed that this video is accessible in UK!

Obviously, this block of access could not have been requested by BBC on the basis of copyright violation. Or how could you explain the availability of the video on Youtube for UK visitors? One can only speculate on who is behind this blockage. The Free Tibet people? What are they afraid of? Shouldn't showing the reality of Tibet today further their cause? The Chinese government? Since when Youtube is afraid of Chinese government? If Youtube is afraid of them, how to explain the abundant Free Tibet videos on Youtube?

One thing is clear, people in US are now proved to be actively and specifically targeted for information blockage. I thought only China has the Great Firewall. Where's the outrage?

Update 03/12/2008: if you are looking for confirmation, check out the comments on digg

Update 03/17/2008: some people point out that it is BBC's policy to not allow access to their video outside UK. One comment on Slashdot pointed out that the video is blocked in Netherland as well. If these are true, my speculation could be wrong.

However, it is rather depressing to see that some of the comments to my post display an unabated bias and contempt towards people of my heritage. For example, the comment below accusing me of justifying totalitarianism is so unwarranted to the point of absurdity, especially considering that some of my posts here would be considered subversive to party rule.

Another comment on Slashdot put it in plain words: Identifying yourself as Han Chinese has already shown how biased you are so no more needs to be said. I simply cannot understand the reasoning behind this statement. Why would identifying one's own ethnic identity automatically disqualify one from being listened to? I hope this is another cultural gap that I have yet to overcome, is it? Can any one enlighten me a bit on this? Anyway, I hope these people are not representative of the general population here in the West.


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