After months of disruption, Gmail has been banned even from third party sources
China isn’t definitely about some normal internet access; it usually isn’t surprising to find out that some web application or a site has been banned in the country which doesn’t really appreciate outside influence. The government of China has yet again used their influence to ban another service; as it appears, the people can no longer access the Gmail, Google’s email service, through third party email clients. Google’s search engine along with all other products of the company had already been blocked in the country but people somehow were still managing to gain access through third party sources.
It was last Friday when the blockage began and for obvious reasons, it left the citizens angry and frustrated. The data from Google suggests that the number of traffic to Gmail from China has literally dropped to zero. Blocking the access to Gmail has far reaching consequences than just making it difficult for users to access their emails. Gmail is used by a lot of foreign companies as the prime corporate email service but now they will have to make sure that the employees have the software known as VPNs, or virtual private networks, to access Gmail.
With the help of this software, users can get through the Chinese Internet censorship controls commonly known as the Great Firewall, however the authorities also attempt to inhibit the software. It didn’t take long for the people to realize what was happening and the blocking attempt of the state was soon figured out over the weekend as they could no longer download emails from Gmail accounts from phones, tablets and computers, without having turned on the VPN software.
Targeting Google hasn’t been something new for the Chinese government and according to a publication, China views Google as a component of a Western conspiracy to undermine China. The internet users in China were extremely angry and frustrated as they couldn’t access important emails. “They shouldn’t have blocked Google or Gmail; it’s against the spirit of the Internet,” Yuan Shengang, the chief executive of Netentsec, a Beijing-based cybersecurity company, said in a telephone interview. One Chinese technology news website described the ban as “such complete access failure to Gmail has no precedent.”
Luo Zhiqiu, a lecturer in English at Nanjing University, wrote on his microblog on Sunday that “it’s a critical moment for many students who are currently applying for overseas universities. “Their contact emails are Gmails. Such blockage brings great inconvenience. Many years later, when they will consider whether they should go back to China, this experience might lead them to choose, without hesitation, not to return.”
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