The cat and mouse game between China, Google and the internet continues. Today and tomorrow are the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Fearing another anti-government uprising, every year at this time China cracks down on its citizens’ ability to access information about the event online. However this year, China is going to greater lengths to block Google, in particular.
According to the New York Times the Chinese government has taken Google censorship to new levels. It appears that all or substantially all the company’s services are being blocked, not just search:
In addition to Google’s search engines being blocked, the company’s products, including Gmail, Calendar and Translate, have been affected.
This is not the first time China has taken aim at Google and its users there. The authorities in China blocked Google for 12 hours in 2012, according to GreatFire.org, an independent censorship-monitoring website, which published a blog post about the recent problems on Monday. But the recent crackdown is more severe, and there was no indication of how long it would last . .
Google services are being disrupted in a way that affects about 9 out of 10 Chinese users
The Chinese government denies that it is blocking or disrupting Google and seeks to assign blame to Google for the interruptions. However it’s clear (outside China) that the government is behind the censorship. China and Google have been at odds since the government first tried hacking into Gmail to obtain information on dissidents and democracy activists.
Today China can still successfully disrupt internet and information access within the country. It also seeks to control coverage of the country and its leaders outside its borders. However the numbers of Chinese who use proxy servers, VPNs, the cloud and other creative ways of getting around government censorship are growing.