Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Great Firewall Update: Google+ Blocked Again

Last month I explored a variety of web sites to see whether they were freely accessible in China. In short, from my location in Guangzhou I found that:

  • Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube were all completely blocked.
  • Amazon China, eBay, MSN, NPR, and Windows Live loaded without apparent problem.
  •, Bing, CNN, Gmail, Google+, Yahoo!, and this blog had a variety of problems but were not completely blocked.

For more details see here.

Recently, there have been reports of Google+ being accessible in China and that it led to an outburst of Chinese language comments on President Barack Obama's Google+ page (see here for a news report that includes some of Jeremy Goldkorn's insights on the Chinese language comments). I was surprised numerous reports claimed that Google+ had only recently become accessible since I was able to access it last month in Guangzhou.

In light of the news, a few hours ago I did a quick check of some of the sites I tested last time. I conducted the tests on two different operating systems from my location in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. The tests were conducted while while using a non-local DNS server and without a VPN (for details on what that means see the earlier post). The results on the two operating systems were the same. It is possible some of the results would have been worse with a local DNS. It seems unlikely any would have been better. This is what I found (changes from previous testing in bold):

  • Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube were all blocked.
  •, Gmail, Windows Live, and Yahoo! loaded without apparent problem.
  • This blog loaded with the same problems as described before.

So, while Amazon, Gmail, and Yahoo! all fared better than last time, Google+ is now blocked.

For me. In Zhuhai. Today.

My understanding is that I am now not the only one being blocked from accessing Google+. It is also worth noting that my VPN is working just fine. When I want to "get through" the Great Firewall I can do so without problem.

My guess at the moment is that the Great Firewall underwent some recent updates and that there were a few bugs in the rollout. However, there are some peculiar aspects regarding the reported recent accessibility of Google+ that make me wonder if there is more to the story.

But for now, I will return to trying to get that video to work.

No comments:

Post a Comment