China’s Great Firewall has now started blocking RSS, a long known loophole to get information blocked all other ways. An entire syndication standard is now blocked. According to the Ars Technica:
PSB appears to have extended this block to all incoming URLs that begin with “feeds,” “rss,” and “blog,” thus rendering the RSS feeds from many sites—including ones that aren’t blocked in China, such as Ars Technica—useless.
I wonder if a good workaround would be to just use yourdomain.com/d0e862d00be15796f/ or some other randomness. It would be a better way around filtering of just the url. Then the government would need to start sniffing content-type. The problem they would encounter there is that it’s far from standardized when it comes to feeds on the web. As a result they would have to either live with a high error rate. Unless of course the would resort to content sniffing, which has a ton of overhead when your talking about an entire countries internet bandwidth. That would be extremely expensive and either: slow down the internet in China, make it much more expensive, or just shut things down. My guess is a slowdown.
You can also just switch to atom until they catch on and block that too. The article mentions several other tricks including RSS aggregators, ssh tunnels, etc.
[Hat Tip: Slashdot]