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China reportedly blocks Google access

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posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 03:15 PM
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China reportedly blocks Google access
September 2, 2002 Posted: 8:21 AM EDT (1221 GMT)




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BEIJING, China (Reuters) -- China appears to have blocked leading search engine Google, sparking speculation of a crackdown on Internet content viewed as subversive ahead of a Communist Party congress in November.

The U.S.-based Web site, which has become popular among Internet surfers in China because of its simplicity and ability to run thorough Chinese-language Web searches, was inaccessible via Chinese servers as early as Saturday, users said.

"It's being blocked out of Beijing," said one industry insider, who follows China's regulation of the Internet closely and used his computer to confirm and pinpoint the block.

The government openly attempts to control Web content in China, where the Internet threatens Communist Party control over the media. It blocks several foreign news sites and frequently forces domestic sites to expunge content deemed unwholesome.

An article posted on Web portal NetEase.com said Google was being blocked because searches could bring up links to pornography, content associated with the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong and information deemed harmful to national security.

China's media censors tend to be particularly edgy during politically sensitive times, analysts said, and a Google block may be an attempt to sweep up ahead of the Party congress, which is expected to see sweeping leadership changes.

It was the first time the government had blocked access to an Internet search engine, analysts said.

"It's pretty surprising," said Nathan Midler, a senior analyst at International Data Corp in Beijing. "Google, as a search engine, doesn't necessarily conjure up the idea of a Web site worth blocking."

There was no official announcement and officials at the Ministry of Information Industry were unavailable for comment. Google officials in California could not be reached.

In May, China lifted blocks on the overseas Web sites of several Western news agencies, including Reuters, but other news sites and politically sensitive Web sites are still unavailable.

A popular site
Analysts say Google has caught on quickly in China, becoming a top choice for searching Chinese sites alongside leading Chinese portals Sina.com and Sohu.com.

"It's a very, very popular tool and there's a major hassle factor," said Duncan Clark, head of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA China Ltd.

"But ultimately, in the run up to something like the Party congress, it's 'batten down the hatches!'," he said.

Last week, President Jiang Zemin met Party propaganda chiefs from around the country and told them it was critical to create a "good atmosphere" for the congress starting on November 8.

Unlike Sohu and Sina, Google's headquarters are in the United States and it does not yet have operations in China.

"It's not like Sina or Sohu where all they need to do is make a phone call and they can remedy the situation. It doesn't even matter if they make a phone call, Google is not going to do anything as a result of it," IDC's Midler said.

The Google block highlights the risks associated with the Internet business in China, Midler said.

"Internet market growth can be hampered, and will be hampered probably, because of the government influence and the government's concern about controlling content on the Internet," he said. "There's a certain element of risk involved."

Tough new Internet regulations and a self-censorship pledge taken in March by 130 major Web portals, including Yahoo Inc., have drawn fire from critics who say they are sacrificing freedom of expression for business.

Despite the apparent block on Google, Yahoo, which uses Google for searches, was still available in China.




posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 06:09 PM
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Do we have anyone in China who can confirm these reports?

[Edited on 9-3-2002 by William One Sac]



posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 06:19 PM
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that sucks if its true. but at least China can still use other search engines. also i've just heard that Greece has banned all videogames over there. i wonder whats next.....



posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 06:34 PM
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If they blocked all video games, that in and of itself would be a reason to move. *shuddering*



posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by William One Sac
Do we have anyone in China who can confirm these reports?

[Edited on 9-3-2002 by William One Sac]


I can confirm it! I live in Canada/US but I read it in the local papers!



posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by William One Sac
Do we have anyone in China who can confirm these reports?

[Edited on 9-3-2002 by William One Sac]


I can confirm it! I live in Canada/US but I read it in the local papers!



posted on Sep, 3 2002 @ 09:16 PM
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I found other articles where the Chinese government is deleting e-mails if they have anti-Chinese government writings.I will try to find them again as soon as possible.



posted on Sep, 4 2002 @ 07:25 PM
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If they blocked all video games, that in and of itself would be a reason to move. *shuddering*


I hear you. If they banned videogames that would be a reason for us to fight WW3!!!!



posted on Sep, 4 2002 @ 08:23 PM
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Amen to that Ocelot!!!



posted on Sep, 8 2002 @ 12:22 AM
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DAMN RIGHT OCELOT! IM WITH YOU!!!!
THE TEEN SPECIE SHALL DOMINATE!!!!



posted on Sep, 12 2002 @ 01:41 PM
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Take a look at this post on Slashdot about the Chinese situation. Google isn't blocked anymore according to one of the article mentioned.

Scroll down though and read the messages people have posted also. There is one in there where someone from China tried a google search for "how can i leave china?" and the results returned were censored appearantly as they were given a few links about China. NOT what us non-oppressed people would get when searching that phrase.

Here's the link:
yro.slashdot.org...



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