Google reported a dramatic drop-off in its traffic to sites in China for about 12 hours Friday, November 9, into Saturday morning. According to Google's Transparency Report, which monitors traffic to Google's sites around the world, all of its services were inaccessible in China, with Chinese Internet monitor Greatfire.org confirming the outage. “We've checked and there's nothing wrong on our end,” a Google spokesperson e-mailed Computerworld. Observers noted that the blockage coincided with the beginning of Communist China's 18th Party Congress, at which the government is expected to name new leaders.
China regularly blocks certain elements of the Google site to computers within the country, but this is the first time Google has been totally inaccessible since 2010, when there was a brief disruption in service. PCWorld.com noted that the latest outage occurred “just two weeks after Chinese censors targeted the New York Times after it had published an article on the billions in wealth amassed by the family of Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao. The New York Times' website continues to be inaccessible from within the country.”
According to PCWorld, the communist country “periodically increases the level of Internet censorship when sensitive government-related matters arise. This happened last year when an online call was made urging the Chinese people to protest. Subsequently, Google accused the Chinese government of disrupting access to its Gmail service in the country.”
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