It was reported by FT that the US has blocked Hong Kong residents from accessing at least two federal government websites that provide economic data.
The websites of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes economic information including monthly jobs and unemployment figures, and the US Census Bureau, which releases data such as retail sales, new residential construction and international trade, have been inaccessible to Hong Kong internet users for months.
Are there any other US government websites blocking access from Hong Kong in the meantime? Our checks find that the website of the Department of Labor (DOL), and the websites of agencies under DOL, no longer accept visitors from Hong Kong. The block list is as follows:
- Department of Labor (https://www.dol.gov/)
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (https://www.bls.gov/, reported by FT)
- Employment and Training Administration (https://www.doleta.gov/)
- Office of Unemployment Insurance (https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (https://www.osha.gov/)
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (https://www.msha.gov/)
- CareerOneStop (https://www.careeronestop.org/)
- Benefits.gov (https://www.benefits.gov/)
There is little clue as to why DOL, the government body mainly dealing with local labor issues, imposes such website geoblocking. DOL head Eugene Scalia, nominated by Donald Trump, served in the position since September 2019.
An even more creepy finding is that, a number of local state labor agencies are also blocking their websites from Hong Kong visitors, and all those states are traditional vote-Republican red states:
- Alabama Department of Labor…