China opens access doors leading to Google after a month of hiatus; shutters them again
Google services including search, maps and Gmail were accessible from within the Chinese borders on the 25th anniversary of the Tiannaman Square massacre indicating that China may have had a change of heart over its month long Google ban. But this move was a temporary one and the ban is back.
The regime known for its strict control of internet and access to US based websites, seems to have loosened up a little by providing access to few Google services, albeit limited, to its citizens. Google Maps and Google Search was available, but it quickly redirected to Hong Kong version of the website.
The crackdown on Google services, which began a month ago, was presumably a proactive step to deter any movement in response to the quarter old Beijing’s Tiananmen Square massacre.
Anti-censorship group GreatFire.org, which is based out of China, also confirmed reports that Google services were once again accessible from within the country. One of the members of the anti-censorship group wasn’t sure if the lifting of the ban was a temporary glitch, but is hopeful that if it wasn’t than it is “a big victory for free speech.”
However, this isn’t the case as fresh reports indicate that the services have been blocked again with another member of the group saying “It looks like merely a bug of the Great Firewall.”
The brief access to services occurred at a time when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was visiting China where he was going to discuss several topics including the hot topic of cyber-security.