Google came right out and accused the Chinese government of interfering with their email service, Gmail. The accusation came during the Chinese crackdown on the “Jasmine Revolution” dissident movement inspired by events in Egypt and the Middle East.
Google says that Chinese subscribers and advertisers have been complaining about problems with their Gmail service in the past month. Other services, including one geared towards allowing relatives find one another after the Japanese quake and tsunami, have also suffered – but only in China.
Google says that the problem is not on their end. “We have checked extensively,” their spokesman says. “This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.”
Earlier this month, Google had said that there were some obviously targeted attacks going on exploiting a vulnerability in Internet Explorer and apparently aiming for activists in China.
This comes after Google suffered sophisticated attacks originating from China back in January.
Analysts are in agreement with Google that the current problems and attacks are probably “semi-industrial” or governmental in nature and seem to be targeting specific services while appearing to be random and service-related rather than hacks.
Meanwhile, other services are still blocked in China, including Facebook and YouTube, so those in the country wanting to make political statements are limited as to their venues for doing so. The Chinese government has long held tight reigns on the Internet in the country.
With Google moving to Hong Kong, where it is not subject to all of China’s rules, the problems don’t seem to have abated. Is it time for Google to pull out of China entirely?