GMail Partially Blocked

The long-lasting concern that other Google application will be banned in China after Search became a reality. In the recent two months, Gmail has been more and more inaccessible.

I am still not sure what is happening behind, Gmail is just on and off with some functions like “send”, or “view” hanging there for ever. That, I assume, will also promote the usage of VPN in China in the tech space. At least I have to rely on VPN to access Gmail.

I am just curious about how the history will record these interesting period of time. Does it finally settle in the textbook just as we settle Culture Revolution? People like me already have no idea to feel the exact frustration, pain, and hopeless of that era. What will people feel after 50 years? Can they feel the frustration we have today?

History forgets itself, and repeats itself. Always. Sometimes when I am driving along the Hong Kou District and see those Jewish buildings. That reminds me of the terrible time during the WII. At least, the buildings are still there. But in a digital world, after few decades, when all the websites, and digital stuff disappear, what is left?

9 thoughts on “GMail Partially Blocked

  1. A Lee

    Are the well-known VPN services (PPTP, L2TP, SSTP) free from disruption now or are there providers you can recommend? I’m looking forward to my China trip but it’s frustrating I have to replace my digital workflow with an entirely indigenous one within national boundaries.

  2. Carroll

    Interesting issue, Jian Shuo. You are right that we are more and more inclined to rely on digital media for preservation of our current “history”. But does the dusty and crumbling old newspaper article I saved from when my children were little have a better chance of surviving after all?

  3. Jian Shuo Wang

    @Carroll, actually, I do feel that your newspaper from childhood has more chance to survive. A hard disk may survive (although may not function) after 50 years, but IT system may not. We saved too many things in Microsoft Word (.doc) format, but that may not be recognizable after 50 years. How many of us still use WordPerfect today? That is the reason people try to convert those things to GML (General Markup Language) which later turned into HTML. At least HTML is more likely to be readable than a .doc binary format file.

  4. Joyce Lau

    From the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper:

    “William Long, an IT engineer based on the mainland, ran a test last week to find out just what was going on.

    Long used two servers, one in Shanghai and the other in Hong Kong, to run programs tracing the root of the blockage.

    What he found was that one router on the mainland had been routinely blocking most of the traffic through port 443, the only gateway to Gmail and other Google services. Each blockage lasted about 15 minutes, and then the services would resume for about the same period of time, before turning off again.

    That meant mainland users had a 50 per cent chance of accessing Google, he said.

    Long said the government was trying to reduce Google’s user base.

    “Gmail cannot be monitored, but domestic mail servers can, and they will co-operate with the government to provide evidence for criminal investigations. People have gone to jail because of this,” Long said.”

  5. Joyce Lau

    Hmmm. Did my comment not go through? Jianshuo — here’s a protective resend. Please ignore if I’m repeating myself!

    From the South China Morning Post:

    “William Long, an IT engineer based on the mainland, ran a test last week to find out just what was going on.

    Long used two servers, one in Shanghai and the other in Hong Kong, to run programs tracing the root of the blockage.

    What he found was that one router on the mainland had been routinely blocking most of the traffic through port 443, the only gateway to Gmail and other Google services. Each blockage lasted about 15 minutes, and then the services would resume for about the same period of time, before turning off again.

    That meant mainland users had a 50 per cent chance of accessing Google, he said.

    Long said the government was trying to reduce Google’s user base.

    “Gmail cannot be monitored, but domestic mail servers can, and they will co-operate with the government to provide evidence for criminal investigations. People have gone to jail because of this,” Long said.”

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