China blocks access to Gmail

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China blocks access to Gmail

State Censorship : 1.3 billion Chinese users blocked from using Google’s Gmail

Asian giant, China has taken to blocking Gmail as per the Internet analysis firm Dyn Research.  China’s administration has started blocking access to Gmail on an IP level for many of its 1.3 billion citizens.

While blocking of Google’s services is not new with strict state censorship on YouTube and Google Search, Gmail in its entirety is being blocked for first time. Though there is no official notification to this effect, the block has been confirmed by many sources including Chinese citizens active on social networking platforms.

Internet analysis firm Dyn Research has stated to Mashable that many IP addresses used for routing the Gmail services were being blocked. “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,” Earl Zmijewski, Dyn’s vice-president of data analytics, told Mashable.

Google’s interactive disruption map also notes several disruptions across mainland China.

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Image courtesy Mashable

Zmijewski said that much of China’s Gmail access is routed through Hong Kong IP addresses, which were being blocked. He said he checked six different locations, and found that each one was blocked.

Chinese citizens can use proxy services/settings or VPN to access Gmail inspite of the blanket ban as the block is at IP level.

Readers may remember that earlier in the year, China authorities had raided Microsoft’s offices multiple times over alleged ‘antitrust investigations’ and blocked Instagram in order to stop the spread of pro-democracy protest images.

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