Monday, March 21, 2011

Google, China clash over rumored “Jasmine Revolution”

Hong Kong – Hundreds of news organizations are reporting a complete breakdown of Google's e-mail services in mainland China.

The problem is not with Google, according to the American internet company, which provides webhosting, e-mail addressing and transmission services from its massive server farm at its San Francisco bay area headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Millions upon millions of Chinese customers are finding it impossible to access their home g-mail page and find they are unable to send messages when logged in.

“There is no technical issue on our side; we have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail,” according to a statement generated by the company. It is one in a series of highly publicized run-ins Google has experienced with the Chinese government.

Chinese government officials refused to comment.

With some of the world's strictest internet controls, China has reacted swiftly and with great prejudice following mideast unrest that began in Tunisia, spread to Egypt, and now engulfs the Arab world in massive protests and social networking revolution that is making government controls very shaky.

Chinese government hackers have been accused of interfering with human rights activists' e-mail, websites and other computer functions.

When e-mails began to circulate in China mentioning a “Jasmine Revolution,” the crackdown became very severe, halting most of the social networking capability in the world's most populous nation.

Google immediately moved its Chinese-language search engine to the former British island colony of Hong Kong. The metropolitan financial and banking hub operates under completely different rules from those in place in mainland China.

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