The services offered by Google were surprisingly unblocked for users in China for a short period of time
Since 2010, Google has been suspended in China, but on March 27, 2016, it unexpectedly returned- for a short period, as it turned out. South China Morning Post reported that around 11:30pm China Standard Time on Sunday, social network users informed that they were able to easily access Google search (paywall). Around 1:15 am local time, commenters reported it had been suspended again.
Beijing-based technology blog ‘Pingwest’ estimated that users were able to access Google from around 8pm or 9pm, and also states that Google Drive, Google Inbox, Google Play and Google Photos were also accessible. Other services, such as YouTube and Gmail, remained inaccessible during those hours.
The American search company refused to share views when Quartz contacted it to ask which factor was responsible for causing the incident. In early 2010, the company announced it was no longer interested in censoring searches, as demanded by the Government of China. Since then, it has been suspended in China. 2 years ago, services including Gmail were also suspended.
Now, whenever users in the country try to use the service provided by the technology organization, they are directed to fake IP addresses. China’s “Great Firewall”, a catch-all terminology that describes the online censorship infrastructure of the country, enforces the ban.
The Great Firewall is not immune to malfunctions or mishaps. In August last year, the services offered by the company were accessible briefly only in time for the World Championships in Athletics, an annual sporting event that was organized in Beijing in 2015.
In May last year, users in China found a loophole that allowed them to use the banned Japanese chat application, Line, only to find it shut down on the same day. In other news, Digital Trends claimed that the availability of the search services in that one hour and 45 minutes of seemed to be the first victory of the organization in the battle, which it is currently fighting with the state.
In 2011, the organization accused the state of tampering with Gmail to halt a social revolt started by Jasmine Revolution, which is anti-government group.
In December, two years ago, the email service of the organization has been entirely suspended after internet users were yet able to get access to Gmail messages, with the help of third-party applications, like the YouTube and Microsoft Outlook has been continuously suspended since 2009.
The blanket censorship of Google’s services is part of the a dozen and half year Golden Shield venture of the country, targeted to let the Ministry of Public Security control what citizens of China can view online.