Experts say Gmail traffic in China was shut down last week after Chinese authorities apparently plugged the third-party applications that allowed users to get around existing hurdles. Only a trickle of emails have got through since.
Gmail is the galaxy’s largest email service, it has however been largely inaccessible from within China since June last year, coinciding with the run-up to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
But users could still access the service by using third-party mail applications, rather than the webpage. Gmail users could access emails downloaded via protocols like IMAP, SMTP and POP3, allowing users to communicate using Gmail on apps like Apple iPhone’s Mail and Microsoft Outlook ::::
“But they have blocked those ways of accessing,” Jeremy Goldkorn said, founder of Danwei, a Beijing-based firm that tracks Chinese media and the Internet. “I think this is pretty confirmed. It is now already four, five days, so this is real.”
Analysts said China operated the world’s most extensive and sophisticated Internet censorship system and routinely blocked foreign websites.
“There is an increasingly aggressive attitude towards what they (Beijing) call ‘Internet sovereignty’ and they are confident about talking about Internet censorship in positive terms,” Mr Goldkorn said. “The past two years have seen a consistent tightening of all kinds of censorship on the Internet and media.”
A graph on Google’s Transparency Report showed Internet traffic from China accessing Gmail dropped sharply on Friday and had not returned to normal levels.
“We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end,” a Singapore-based spokesman for Google said.
While taking care not to accuse Beijing directly, the United States said it was aware of reports that Gmail had been blocked and that it was “concerned by efforts in China to undermine freedom of expression”.
“We believe Chinese authorities’ censorship of the media and of certain websites is… incompatible with China’s aspirations to build a modern information-based economy and society,” State Department spokesman Jeffrey Rathke said. “So we encourage China to be transparent in its dealings with international companies and to consider the market signal it sends with such acts.”
In China, internet users were angry with many using Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service, to vent their feelings.
“The reason for blocking of Gmail domestically is political problems… it reflects the grim situation facing the political environment,” one user said.
Another commentator said: “Protest the government blocking Gmail! Demand its restoration!”
China tightly controls the Internet and only a fraction of its online population of 632 million can circumvent government restrictions.
Controls include the blocking of foreign websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using a system known as the “Great Firewall”, as well as routinely deleting content that the ruling Communist Party deems offensive.
UNRELATED! China Plans on Expanding its Market Gardens to the Moon and Mars
Our most favourite behemoth – China – and the worlds second largest economy, are planning on expanding rural production much farther than their earthly borders. The worlds most populous nation is preparing to grow fresh vegetables on Mars and the Moon after researchers completed a preliminary test in Beijing.
Chinese state media has reported that researchers are currently testing their wild theory here on earth, four kinds of vegetables were grown in an Ecological Life Support System, a 300 cubic metre cabin which will allow astronauts to develop their own stocks of air, water and food while on space missions.
The system, which relies on plants and algae, is “expected to be used in extra-terrestrial bases on the Moon or Mars”, Xinhua news agency. Participants in the experiment could “harvest fresh vegetables for meals”, Xinhua quoted Deng Yibing, a researcher at Beijing’s Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Centre, as saying :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Great Firewall of China: BOOTS Web Users
Chinese internet users who are skilled at evading the country’s online blocks have suddenly found they are again being denied access to some websites. In China, if you want access to forbidden websites including Facebook or Twitter, one of the easiest ways is to use a virtual private network (VPN).
However, in recent days VPNs across China have been either inaccessible or swiftly shut down. Service providers have blamed the outage on an update to the so-called Great Firewall, which the Chinese government uses to control internet access.
They say the upgraded firewall appears to have the ability to discover and block attempts to circumvent online censorship. The block has also hurt some international businesses that use the networks for secure communications. The firewall has been built up since the internet began to develop in China. It uses a range of technologies to block access to particular sites from Chinese computers :: Read the full article »»»»
UNRELATED! China Labels USA SPY VILLAINS
The second largest economy on the planet – and arguably the most powerful – China, has launched a venomous attack on the United States, labelling it an “espionage villain” after former US spy Edward Snowden raised new allegations on the far-reaching US cyber-surveillance program, PRISM.
Snowden’s latest allegations have the US spy-program directed squarely at Chinese targets.
The US is seeking to extradite the 30-year-old technician from Hong Kong, where he is holed up after leaking details of secret US intelligence programs to international media outlets.
Snowden’s leaks revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has access to vast amounts of internet data such as emails, chat rooms and video under a government program known as PRISM. The South China Morning Post says documents and statements by Snowden show PRISM also hacked major Chinese telecom companies to access text messages and targeted China’s top Tsinghua University.
US privacy proponentss have blasted Prism as unconstitutional government surveillance, they’ve called for a review of the program. The US Centre for Constitutional Rights says it believes PRISM to be the broadest surveillance order issued in American history. The Bashing China has received over the past decade on civil liberty, internet censorship and human rights now looks like COMPLETE hypocrisy. The scale of PRISM is daunting, it’s flow-on affect for US allies is likely to haunt us for the foreseeable future, ironically.
In an absolutely ironic twist, Snowden’s revelations come just weeks after US president Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping held meeting on the subject of China/US relations where the US president took the Chinese leader to task on hacking charges :: Read the full article »»»»
RELATED! Great Firewall of China :: China’s Porn Crackdown
More than fifty websites, blogs and microblog accounts have been shut down over the past week in China, not a huge number right? it is if your a pornster in China, in it’s latest round of crackdowns on online porn the government’s State Internet Information Office – SIIO – said the websites were closed for posting pornographic images, articles, films, amateur videos, online ads for prostitutes.
The SIIO was setup in May 2011, and is the online branch of the überpowerful State Council Information Office, the communist states censorship office. China’s Internet, with the world’s largest number of users –more than 450 million – is a booming industry, attracting investors and government agencies hoping for a stake in online revenues through licensing and regulation.
The National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications said Tuesday that nearly 1.8 million websites had been checked since the launch of the campaign, and 2,195 cases of dissemination of online pornography have been dealt with.
The office received more than 160,000 porn-related tip-offs from the general public and paid out about more than $AU75,000/¥500,000 to around 5oo informants. Companies and government departments also joined in the campaign. As part of the sting, China Mobile organized 20 employees – mothers of teenagers – to assist with monitoring and reporting mobile sites :: Read the full article »»»»
Michael’s time is spent making other folks land softly, easing their days, so they’re able to enjoy their evenings: He Likes To Worry!
Overtly fond of driven people, loves the energy, his client list is diverse, an English Brain Scientist, a Hotelier on the up, a PR firm and a half dozen special individuals. As well, he runs online campaigns for several brands, throws his fifty cents in for Unruly Media, takes on the odd guest editorial and lunches out in Melbourne every second day and can often be found walking The Tan, mumbling stories out loud.
“…what I like most about my world? The anonymity, I like that others get the kudos.”