Feeds

Great Firewall springs a leak: Chinese flood Obama's Google+ page

Free speech? In China?

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

China’s infamous tool of internet censorship the Great Firewall appeared to fail last week, allowing hundreds of web users in the People’s Republic to access and post comments on US president Barack Obama’s Google+ page.

Google’s social networking service is blocked in China – like many other sites including Facebook and Twitter – for fear that it could provide a platform for social and political dissent. The Communist Party enforces its stance with a range of country-wide internet monitoring and IP-blocking technologies collectively known as the Golden Shield Project.

However, the leader of the Western world’s Google+ page was flooded with users posting in the simplified Chinese of the mainland from Friday, with content reportedly focused on issues of democracy and censorship in China.

Of those posting in English, some were clearly just happy to be there, while others used their time on the site to asking for freedom for political prisoners such as blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo.

Several more claimed they were staging their own tongue-in-cheek ‘Occupy’ protest on the president’s Google+ page.

Another, clearly astonished at the sudden influx of Mandarin on the site, wondered aloud whether Google had been bought by Baidu overnight.

Some claimed that Google+ had been available in China since the beginning of the week, although most comments in Chinese appeared on posts on Obama’s page from Friday through to Sunday. It’s pretty clear from reading them that he’s more popular in China than in the US at the moment.

The party may be over for those Obama-mad Chinese web users, however, with online censorship monitoring site greatfire.org claiming that the pages are now being blocked as usual.

It’s still unclear what caused the failure of the Golden Shield. While it’s one of the most sophisticated and large-scale systems of its kind on the planet, it’s not infallible – although this has certainly been the most high-profile breach in recent memory. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.