China has a history of censoring and blocking websites. The latest website to get choked up by the country’s Great Firewall is Gmail. First reported by Dyn Research, a web traffic research company, Gmail traffic has been down in the world’s largest populous nation since Christmas Eve and is still on-going. Also Read - Best camera phones under Rs 35000 to buy in July 2021: Pixel 4a, Mi 11X, and more
According to the research firm, Gmail has been blocked at the IP level. A bit of fluctuation was observed in traffic before Christmas, but it has since then become almost flat-lined with no signs of any improvement. Also Read - Timex Helix Smart 2.0 with temperature sensor, heart rate sensor launched: Details here
In a statement to Mashable, Dyn Research’s vice president of data analytics Earl Zmijewski said that “China has a number of ways they can block content. One of the crudest ways is to just block an IP address, and when you do that, you block all the content available at the IP.” He further noted that much of China’s Gmail access is routed through Hong Kong IP addresses, which have been blocked.
— Dyn Research (@DynResearch) December 28, 2014
This isn’t the first time China has blocked a Google service. Back in June this year, China had blocked access to all Google services on the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown. Ever since whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the existence of surveillance programs and the level of sophistication to which the United States government had gone to spy on essentially every virtual conversation, China started to reduce its reliance on US-based services. Earlier this year, the nation banned the use of Windows 8 and productivity suite Office in the government offices citing security and privacy concerns.