China Blocks Google Access; Confusion Over Internet Filter Remains High
June 25, 2009 5:25 PM
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Companies still frustrated with Chinese order to install filtering software
As China continues to cause Internet privacy advocates to shake their heads in disbelief, access to Google has been blocked in some parts of the country.
Google has been accused of spreading pornography -- breaking strict Chinese law -- and now both the Google.com and its Chinese language counterpart have been unavailable. Furthermore, Gmail and several other Google-based services also were disabled since Wednesday afternoon China time.
To avoid the ban in China, Microsoft's Bing search engine is reportedly filtering out some sensitive searches carried out through the search portal written in traditional Chinese. Any IP address based in China filters out content deemed inappropriate by the Chinese government, allowing the search engine to continue operating in the country.
Foreign companies operating inside China must tread carefully, with YouTube,
, and a handful of news web sites also facing temporary bans.
The temporary Google block comes at the same time PC manufacturers are working to install the mandatory "Green Dam Youth Escort" software on all desktop PCs and laptops sold in the country. The filter has drawn international criticism, with US officials pleading with China to leave behind its plans to use the filter.
There has been concern not only because of major censorship issues, but possible security holes and
pirated software used in the filtering software
. But since the Chinese market has so many tech consumers, manufacturers are willing to install the filter and put up with other unusual demands.
"Mandating technically flawed Green Dam software and denying manufacturers and consumers freedom to select filtering software is an
unnecessary and unjustified means to achieve that objective
, and poses a serious barrier to trade," according to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
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6/25/2009 5:47:00 PM
What on earth does gmail has to do with spreading p0rn? Plus from what I've heard, there are so many sites and QQ chat groups within China dedicated to p0rn that Google is hardly the best source... With gender ratio of 1.134:1 (M:F) between 15-64 yrs old, what do they expect all the single guys to do? lol
At any rate, making sure what kids do and don't do online is up to the parents. I hardly think their post-olympics increased censoring efforts (Green Dam and so forth) has p0rn as its primary target.
6/25/2009 6:09:45 PM
It doesn't. Google is one of the companies the have a weaker search engine filter/censor than the home grown search engines and Yahoo China. China is just using this to retaliate those who do not comply with its dictatorial rule.
6/25/2009 6:22:37 PM
You may be able to reach it initially at gmail.com but it redirects you to mail.google.com once you login.
In the process it becomes a casualty of the block on the primary google.com domain.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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