Feeds

Google site fools interwebs into China blockage scare

It's fully blocked!

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Google's China search is working just fine, despite breathless claims from countless news organizations that it's "fully blocked."

On Thursday afternoon, everyone from The New York Times to Cnet reported that Google's search engine, online ad service, and mobile apps – as well as various other services – had been snuffed in China. But it turns out they misinterpreted their source.

Their source was Google – or, rather, a Google website. Google maintains a "dashboard" that tracks the availability of its China services, and on Thursday, it said that Google search, ads, and mobile apps had been "fully blocked" in the country. But Google tells us that its dashboard can't always be trusted.

"Because of the way we measure accessibility in China, it's possible that our machines could overestimate the level of blockage," a company spokeswoman tells us. "That seems to be what happened last night when there was a relatively small blockage. It appears now that users in China are accessing our properties normally.

"Please also note that the dashboard is not a real-time tool."

Google also points out there's a disclaimer at the top of the dashboard. "The status is assessed by geographically diverse servers that are used to monitor connection capability," it says. "Note that service status in China has a fluctuating nature. This assessment may not reflect small-scale blocking that frequently occurs or individual experiences with issues such as keyword blocking that may affect access to services temporarily."

"This dashboard receives updates at least once a day, generally in the evening Pacific Time."

China renewed Google’s license in July, after Google made a small change to its China site, Google.cn. Previously, the company automatically redirected users to uncensored results on its Hong Kong site, Google.com.hk. But it has now added a landing page on Google.cn that links to the Hong Kong site.

And it would seem this is still enough to appease the Chinese government. Whatever the interwebs say. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.