Last night, Google.com/Gmail/AdSense and most of other Google property cannot be accessed in China. The whole Green Dam – Google China – Google.com story has unwind and reveal a clear path of censorship + propaganda. The whole story is very long, and there are thousands of articles (if not millions) on this. Let me quickly record the key event.
- The Chinese Government requires all computer to ship with a porn-filtering software, Green Dam by July 1, 2009. The order came out 10 days before the deadline.
- Netizen and computer manufacture reacted strong and criticized the censorship software.
- Reverse engineering of the Green Dam shows it is not just a porn-filter software. Huge amount of politics related keywords are banned, including many foreign websites, and common word like “conscience”. It is further confirmed that the software directly used unlicensed code from Solid Ork.
- Under the huge pressure of the netizen, the government used the method they used many many times, including 20 years ago – to create a media campaign to “educate” the whole nation to understand the situation.
- CCTV used three major program “Evening News”, “Focus”, “News 1+1” to accuse Google for spreading porn content, and tell the nation that porn content has been everywhere and at finger tip of every child.
- Xinhua News immediately commented that “Now it is the time to be conscious of the severity of the situation, and stop all argument immediately and take action.”
- Immediately after the CCTV program was broadcast, people find out the college student being interviewed in the program is actually working as an intern in CCTV Focus program.
- It is further revealed that the samples to accuse the Google Auto Suggestion feature was also fake. In the program, when you enter “Son”, Google suggested “Son Mother”, and other keywords. Look at the search query index, you find out that the terms were queried hundreds of times more than before since 2 days before the broadcast. The query mainly comes from Beijing in a precious machine generating pattern.
- Google.cn was asked to stop suggestion tools, and stop searching any content outside of China. Google did.
- Google.com and most other Google properties, including Google Mail, Google AdSense, Google Maps, Google Analytics… stopped working yesterday
Disclaimer: The events were from what I read and from my memory. Didn’t take the work to check every fact, or link to the source due to time constrain.