Globo blocking blogs?

An orkut message I received from a “friend” of jibot (a bot that heralds visitors to the #joiito irc channel) accuses Brazilian company Globo of blocking access to the Blogger-driven blogs it hosts to anyone from outside Brazil and of preventing users from accessing their (free) blogs until they pay for a Globo subscription:

Isn’t that amazing? No prior notice.
Brazil has one of the largest blogging populations per capita in the world, according to the NITLE Blog Census … and there are a lot of capita. True, most of the capita are peasants and most of the bloggers are teenaged girls, but there also a lot of unemployed journalists who do serious and valuable work on free blogging services.
I’ve been trying to circulate instructions for getting around the blockade by using
a public proxy server in Brazil, which is working for me.
There’s also a petition online: I’d love to see this get around and get some real support from the gringo blogueirada. When a butterfly stirs its wings in Brazil, who’s to say that it won’t subsequently hail in Northern Angloblogistan?

You can read more about this controversy at Blogalization (a site managed with Drupal).






2 responses to “Globo blocking blogs?”

  1. Colin Avatar

    Thanks for linking back to a channel troll :-). I really am a friend of #joiito, I just don’t say much because I’m supposed to be working for a living. In theory.
    Blogger Brazil finally came out and said the lack of public access over the weekend was the result of a DoS attack from foreign IPs, but the thing that got people so mad hasn’t been explained: That Globo suddenly locked bloggers out of private access their own blogs, and told them on their telephone helpline that they had to subscribe to get back in or their content would be purged. They’ve let everyone back in now, and, since they never publicly announced a change in their policy, they’re denying it ever occurred. But a lot of people are attesting to what they were told on the telephone.
    Brazilians are hair-trigger sensitive about this because of Globo’s monopoly position in television and radio journalism: Its rise as the nation’s first national network had a lot to do with its willingness to support the military dictatorship of 1964-1984, and nowadays, if you’re not an unemployed journalist, you are more likely than not to work for a Globo subsidiary. And if you are unemployed, you’re more likely than ever to keep yourself in the game by blogging. Media concentration has been on the agenda of the new government there, but it hasn’t accomplished much yet. So this really is an emergent democracy story, on a par with the saga of Silvio Berlusconi in Italy (who owns all the papers, radio, and tv); I hope I managed to get that across.

  2. Colin Avatar

    Okay, it turns out to be simple enough: Like, Blogger Brasil reserves the right to change the terms of service with or without notice. So that’s what it did: No more free accounts. When enough people complained, it agreed to let subscribers to the free plan before a certain date keep their free accounts. Score one for bloggers!
    The weird thing is that the purported “hacker attack” (the purported cause of access problems) occurred at exactly the same time that the Blogger service was doing the back end integration with the new Globo subscription manager, which showed up today. Imagine that! So the word on the street is that Globo are lying scum and the exodus is on. I tried e-mailing Globo about this, but they don’t respond.
    So: A nice little bloggers vs. media Goliath story.