November 10 — Greatfire.org is reporting that you can again access Google in China. The DNS poisoning only lasted about 12 hours. They’ve also got great speculation and analysis about the ramifications and reasons behind the blocking.
Google has confirmed that Google.com, Gmail, Google Maps and Google Docs are all redirecting to a dead IP address in China. According to reports, the Google websites stopped working around Friday evening in China, which would be around the early morning in EST. This isn’t the first time that China has blocked Google products. Most recently, Google shut down Google Play Music in China, and China and Google have had a chequered history going back for years. Most outlets are speculating the block is because the 18th Party Congress, which is a once-in-a-decade process to pick new leadership, is currently going on.
Apparently, sites like google.co.uk are still working, but it’s safe to say that in terms of pageviews, this could be the biggest act of censorship ever. YouTube has been blocked since 2009, and all Google services were blocked for a brief time back in 2010.
I fully expect President Obama or Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to comment on this soon. At this point, it’s not clear whether the ban is temporary, or whether it will be permanent.
We’ll update as we learn more.
Update 1: If you’re in China, you can directly access Google using one of their IP addresses, GreatFire reports.