Blocked by Great Firewall & We Don’t Care

[qi:060] Over past few weeks we have received numerous emails from readers and well wishers who told us that GigaOM and our network of blogs was unavailable in mainland China. The Great Firewall was blocking us, we were told. The final proof came when contributing editor Wagner James Au visited China earlier in August 2007. He had a tough time getting us the stories.

Maybe it is because we are hosted on that got us blocked or perhaps it is something we wrote – either way we don’t care. Why because preventing access to information is counter productive and ultimately, if history is an indicator, walls — both physical and virtual — can’t withstand the test of time. It is something Wagner James Au argues in his special report.

It was a strange coincidence that our special report comes out on the day when The Financial Times is reporting that Chinese Military-linked groups hacked Pentagon networks. It is not an isolated case. German officials have been complaining about similar problems for quite sometime.

This should be a red flag to say the least, especially from a networking perspective. Over past few years, ZTE Corp. and Huawei, two large Chinese equipment vendors have been gaining market share and becoming a key component of the global telecom/networking infrastructure – from Africa to Asia to Europe.

“The ability of Huawei and ZTE to participate in, let alone win, telecom infrastructure tenders in the Western hemisphere may have lessened considerably following last week’s shock report,” writes Dresdner Kleinwort analyst Per Lindberg in a research note issued Monday. “It could trigger a return to national security clearance when it comes to procurement of telecom networks.”