China blocks thousands of Edgecast-powered websites

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Recent reports suggest Chinese authorities have blocked access to thousands of websites run by Verizon Communication’s EdgeCast unit.

Internet freedom watchdog GreatFire.org, which monitors Chinese internet censorship, on Tuesday said the Chinese government has blocked “thousands” of sites using the EdgeCast content delivery network (CDN), that delivers content and services for web companies. EdgeCast is considered as one of the world’s largest content delivery networks.

The Atlantic, Sony Mobile, Drupal, Firefox’s add-ons site, Gravatar, Speedtest.net, Deviantart.com and other sub-domains of edgecastcdn.net have reportedly been affected by the block, Greatfire said in a blog post.

“We have been hearing from our CDN and monitoring partners throughout the industry and our own customers that more sites, CDNs and networks are being filtered or blocked by the Great Firewall of China,” EdgeCast said in a statement posted on its website.

“This week we’ve seen the filtering escalate with an increasing number of popular web properties impacted and even one of our many domains being partially blocked … with no rhyme or reason as to why.”

“We have put policies in place to help our customers mitigate the effects of this most recent filtering but expect this to be an ongoing issue for our customers,” the California-based company said.

“For those of our customers who are frustrated by this, we share your frustration.”

The blockage comes in time of the World Internet Conference scheduled to begin in China’s Wuzhen on Wednesday. The conference aims to “promote the development of (the) Internet to be the global shared resource for human solidarity and economic progress”.