Google’s Blogger service now accessible in China – Sumner Lemon
Long inaccessible from within China without the use of a proxy server, Google’s (Profile, Products, Articles) free Web log service, Blogger, can now be accessed directly by Internet users in Beijing. In addition, Chinese Internet users can now access cached Web pages on Google’s search engine.
Chinese access to Blogger was apparently blocked by government censors starting in 2002. At the same time, when Chinese users attempted to access Google’s Web site, http://www.google.com, they were redirected to one of several Chinese search engines, which indicated DNS (domain name system) records had likely been changed to block access to the U.S.-based search engine.
This virtual hijacking of Google’s domain name was shortlived, but the apparent blocking of Blogger — likely implemented to shut out sites that contained information government censors didn’t want disseminated in China — persisted for three years. The blocks continued even as access to other foreign blog sites, such as Six Apart’s Typepad service, went largely unchecked and Chinese-run blog sites began to flourish.
The opening of access to the cached Web sites on Google, which had previously been blocked by the company itself rather than government censors, appears to be a slightly different situation. In this case, the cache function may have been disabled by Google and was not blocked by the Chinese government, according to an observer familiar with the situation.