After a daring attempt to stop censoring search results, Google.cn is reportedly totally blocked in China. This, six months after Google announced its refusal to let the Chinese government control it’s displayed results on their search engine.
According to Google’s Mainland China service availability page, web searches in China have been fully blocked since the 29th of July. Other services have also been blocked except for Gmail. Fully blocked for Google means there are 67 percent to 100 percent accessibility disruptions.
The service disruption seems a bit unclear as to whether it’s brought upon by the Chinese Government or it’s just a server mishap. Some Twitter users have denied the fact that there were accessibility disruptions on their part.
A Little History
Last January, Google’s official blog published a stunning statement regarding its stance on the Chinese government’s censorship. Even with the threat of Google.cn being shutdown, they were adamant about their views on the subject.
“We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.”
According to the blog, it also noticed some attacks on their structure by mid-December last year. Although they have considered these attacks a minor security breach at first, later on they found out otherwise. Apparently these attacks resulted to the theft of “intellectual property” of Google. These attacks were not only brought on to Google alone; there were “at least twenty other large businesses from a wide range of businesses.” Google also noted there were also attempts to hack the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. However, the blog was quick to note that those attempts were unsuccessful.
March this year, to further their efforts of providing the Chinese public uncensored information, Google announced that they have stopped censoring Google Search, Google News and Google Images.
At the end of June, Google was a bit worried about their then upcoming ICP license renewal.
However on July 9th, they were pleased that the “government has renewed our ICP license and we look forward to continuing to provide web search and local products to our users in China.”