China: State censors block all Google services

Spotted via tweets from friends in Tibet and China last night: news that China's government blocked access to Google (and related apps like Google Calendar and Gmail). The broad display of censorship capabilities lasted from one hour to more than a day, depending on who you ask in China and what ISP they're using. Some are reporting that the delay is still ongoing at the time of this blog post. Snip from Guardian:


Earlier in the day, the main state and communist party media – Xinhua and People's Daily – condemned Google for providing links to pornographic websites through its search engine. Last week, the government ordered the US company to halt foreign website searches as a punishment.

Many Chinese netizens believe the move is intended to distract attention away from the domestic controversy over Green Dam censorship software, which must be sold with all new computers from 1 July.

In a rare move, the US has lodged a complaint over the tightening of censorship rules. Google agreed to self-censor in compliance with requests by local officials after setting up a China subsidiary and locally hosted website in 2005. One reason for this controversial decision was that its services were frequently being disrupted or slowed. That has been rare since.

China blocks Google services (Guardian, via @rmack)