A twitter user tweeted us to ask if we had another url, here is how we found out we have been blocked from an entire country:

Tags: Arabia, Saudi, blocked

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Belle , I'm sure your post wasn't the reason we were blocked. Apparently it happened a few months ago.

I'll bet they went on a blocking spree on all major atheist related sites.

There are all sorts of ways around this. For starters, you can visit most blocked sites using a public proxy-based service like Google Translate. Try this:

1. Go to http://translate.google.com/
2. Enter the Think Atheist URL in the translation box: thinkatheist.com
3. Set the translator to translate from Chinese to English. (TA contains no Chinese so it will 'translate' as unchanged.)
4. Click the 'Translate' button.

Or just click on this link, which is:
h ttp://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=thinkatheist.com

That should work in Saudi. If not, there are about half a dozen similarly low-tech alternatives. If the dumb Saudi government is smarter than they look, TA may have to go high-tech with Tor, if possible.

Note the extra space after the h must be removed for the URL to work. I had to put the space in, otherwise TA automatically turns the URL into a link and truncates the address, which turns this:

h ttp://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=thinkatheist.com

Into this:


Thanks Gallup. I forwarded this info to them. Also I'm working on another domain with a mask to help them out.

From the same user:

I work in network security so i know how to mask a network and my computer is not restricted to the saudi isp cause im connected in a vpn to my friend's computer norway

Thank you for your concern and i am a regular visitor of your site, i just wanted to let you know that the site is doing so great that the gov blocked it

my friend in KSA @hope used to sign in using a proxy browser .. don't know if she can still do that.
according to my information it has been blocked there for years.

my friend in KSA @hope used to sign in using a proxy browser .. don't know if she can still do that. according to my information it has been blocked there for years.

proxy browser is more overt because it's presented as a way of getting around filters. The proxies themselves end up being blocked, which may be what @Hope has run into.

Google Translate is functionally a proxy browser, but it's presented as translation rather than circumvention, so it's useful and non-threatening, and censors may let it pass unnoticed.

Ask @Hope to try the more subtle method explained above and see if it works. It could also work with Babelfish.com. (This would be a fitting use for a translator named after a fictional animal that was once used to prove the nonexistence of God.)

Please let me know if this works for @Hope. I suspect it will, but if it doesn't, there are a number of other approaches we can use, if she's willing and patient enough to try them until we discover one that works.

Drat. It appears that Babelfish.com no longer translates entire web sites in proxy fashion like Google Translate. Maybe there are other translation sites that still use this method.

I have just asked Hope, just before I read your comment. I will update later if I get a reply. I have configured TOR a few times and can log on to pc's remotely to do so.

The method still works with Google Translate (and may work with other translators) just not with Babel fish.


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