Asian Internet

12 07 2011

Iran filters it’s internet. In country, it has been dubbed the filter-net.

China does the same thing. It seems that Iran uses the Chinese technology to filter the internet. The China version is aka The Great Firewall of China.

Pakistan uses a slightly different approach. When you get online, nothing appears to be blocked. Or perhaps that should be “If you get online…”. Especially in the north, where I have just been.

I haven’t worked out just why, but Pakistan is having all sorts of problems with keeping the electricity on. I thought this was just in the north, way up in the mountains, but it is all over the country. I’m in Islamabad (the capital) now, and just now the power has gone off (Laptop + battery = power independence + I didn’t lose what I just wrote). The fan stops, and instantly it feels 10 degrees hotter. the locals tell me they are rolling blackouts, which implies it is due to a lack of generation capacity. This from a country that is proud to have nuclear weapons. Priorities?

So, when the power is on, there should be internet. Well, I found one satellite connection in Hunza… except the power was never on. And a few days later, a connection in Gilgit, and when the power was on, the internet didn’t work. At one point the stars did line up, and we had both, but it was so slow that it made dial-up look blazingly fast.

And so with no trickery at all Pakistan joins the last two countries I’ve visited as internet black spots. The problem is I could geek out and find ways to get around the filtering in Iran and China, but having the power pulled really makes things difficult…



8 responses

12 07 2011

hi, I hope you are fine in spite of the Internet problems.
Did you receive my last email around July 6?

12 07 2011
Jason Andersen

Hey Stephen, Internet eh……well can I tell you about the other end of the spectrum. We just left Sweden, Stockholm to be exact where we were staying in some student accomodation…nice and cheap for us and vacant cause of the summer break. So with the free student interent…..we we decided to upload our photos to flicker…….at times reaching 60,000 kb/s………I’m not a geek, but I think that is fast……Australia, shame on you!!

13 07 2011

That is the other end of the spectrum. Sweden. Stockholm… I’ve never been – it should be great in summer. I hope it’s nice to ride around!

16 07 2011
jon and max

hey stephen !
Here Max and Jonathan, the belgians who abandonned you in Karakol hihi 😉 We can see that your trip is still going, we hope you enjoy Pakistan and that you meet some others travellers up there ! Kiss from China, the desert is almost over for us !

2 08 2011

Yes, since it is the only ‘road’ in the North of Pakistan, it acts like a funnel. There are a (very) few other travelers on the Karakorum Highway, but it’s not as unsafe as I thought, so traveling alone is no problem.

Enjoy the desert of China!

24 07 2011

Hello Stephen,

How are you since Jordan ? You seems to have make a good road at least up to Iran and I hope it will continue 🙂

For me, I am in Thailand, soon in Laos.

Good trip !

23 08 2011

Gosh, you’re still out there. Glad you’re making headway, getting closer. Scary thought – Adelaide waits for you. Karakorum highway goes past some amazing mountains. I’ve just got picture-books. Hope it’s good in RL. Looks like you havn’t had an internet connection for a few weeks. Will check for reappearance or ransom note.

9 09 2011
Rahel and Joerg

Hi Stephen
We didn’t hear from you for a long time!!!! We really in sorrow about your “non answer” and we hope, everything is o.k., and you are allright?
Since july we didnt hear anything from you, last e-mail was from Islamabad/ Pakistan. Where are you now???
And also we hope that you had a good start on your new job?!
So please if you read this message, or somebody else then let us know that you are (he’s) o.k.!!
waiting to hear from you
Rahel and Joerg in Xining/China

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