As authorities enforce a wide range of restrictions both on- and offline during the ongoing 18th National Party Congress, access to all Google services appeared to be blocked in China on Friday. The blocks, at least in some locations, relaxed somewhat the following day. From Claire Cain Miller at The New York Times’ Bits blog:
All Google services, including its search engine, Gmail and Maps, were inaccessible in China on Friday night and into Saturday, the company confirmed. The block comes as the 18th Communist Party Congress, the once-in-a-decade meeting to appoint new government leadership, gets under way.
Traffic to Google sites fell off Friday evening in China, according to Google’s Transparency Report, which provides information about traffic worldwide.
The company said it was not having any technical problems, but did not say whether it believed its sites had been blocked by the government or were the victims of hacking.
“We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end,” said Christine Chen, a Google spokeswoman.
GreatFire.org provided technical details and advice on workarounds, claiming that “never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website.”
Here’s what we know:
- The subdomains www.google.com, mail.google.com, google-analytics.com, docs.google.com, drive.google.com, maps.google.com, play.google.com and perhaps many more are all currently DNS poisoned in China. Instead of the real IP addresses, any lookups from China to any of these domains result in the following IP: 126.96.36.199. That IP address is located in Korea and doesn’t serve any website at all.
- This means that none of these websites, including Google Search, currently work in China, unless you have a VPN or other cirumvention tool.
- Using a DNS server outside of China doesn’t help. A lookup of www.google.com to 188.8.131.52 is also distorted, by the Great Firewall.
- So far you can still access
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