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Chinese Government Finally Decides to Block Gmail Access

gmail-blocked-in-china

It seems that, as of December 26th, when traffic of Gmail on Chinese servers dropped to zero the Chinese government decided to officially block the use of it on all internet networks in China that are public.

Although Gmail was already difficult to be accessed in China before the official blocking of Gmail event and even more now, it was possible for people to download Gmail with a help of third-party software such as Apple Mail, a tool that is especially useful for international companies’ employees using Gmail as their main email service, or Microsoft Outlook. However, on Friday, users of Gmail are to discover that they are not able to use even these third-party clients any longer as it simply does not work and accessing email is impossible.

More than a decade has been spent by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security to place various restrictions on the usage of internet in an effort informally known as the Great Firewall of China, or the Golden Shield Project. China created the project in the wake of its effort to open up international relations, however many of traits of its previously isolated Communist beginnings, precisely its endeavor to prevent any criticism against the government, are still carried.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for Foreign Ministry, while making a speech at a Beijing’s news conference, said that Gmail blocking was unknown thing to her, as reported by the New York Times. She said that China actually has always welcomed and had supportive attitude towards investors from foreign countries doing legitimate business in China. She also added that China, as always, will create an open, transparent and great environment for companies from foreign countries in China.

However, due to ideological differences, Google has a history of quite difficult relations with the government of China. Company desires to lighten information’s freedom, thus there is no surprise why Google butts heads with China government that is doing whatever it can to restrict it. Google is keeping a transparency report of world governments’ and authorities’ requests for certain content to be removed and China is not left out on this. Tremendous amount of requests for removal of content, ranging from websites defaming officials of government to websites that disclose state secrets, are denied by the employees of Google. Due to Google continuously refusing to comply with the multitude of censorship requests from China led to its search engine blocking by the government of China, and now it looks like that access to email service from Google is also being blocked.

In order to get around the block, China’s Gmail users are forced to set up their own VPN (a virtual private network). Mainly, VPNs are used to avoid restrictions that are put on a public network by making the device, connected to the Internet, call its own network’s shots. VPNs have been used for quite some time already as a great tool for people (like dissidents and journalists) who wish to bypass various state-sponsored censorships on the internet. VPNs are also beneficial in providing additional and better security for internet users, a reason why plenty of companies are also choosing to have their own VPNs set up. Here, at NordVPN, we offer one if not the highest security VPN service to protect your sensitive data and information and get a hold of your internet freedom back. Being known for high security measures we also offer no logs policy on top of features such as double VPN and Tor over VPN servers. Take the advantage of our sale right now!

Continuing, the block of Gmail service comes right after a period of pro-democracy protests against Honk Kong government. These protests were led by students, thus a use of innovative apps, in this case FireChat, was imminent. FireChat helps users to send messages between phones even if cellular or Wi-Fi connection is not present. The app quickly became a main way of staying in touch when the local internet service has been shut down by the government in order to attempt to break the protests up. While governments continue to interfere the internet in Asia, various methods of communication will persist and spread for as long as they will be one step ahead of the authorities.

UPDATE:
Basic access to Google’s email service Gmail is starting to return online in China after being blocked on Friday. The four-day outage was not explained by the state-run Global Times China, regardless of the fact that the China government undoubtedly carried out the block, and instead pointed out unwillingness of Google to obey the law of China.



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