Chinese Internet users were prevented from accessing all foreign websites for about an hour Thursday morning, prompting questions as to whether the problem resulted from a technical failure or was a test of the government’s censorship system.
The blockage came amid an ongoing crackdown on Internet groups that published rumors that the Chinese government had undergone a coup in late March. Government officials offered no explanation for the loss of service. —ARK
The “great firewall” already blocks many sites hosted from other countries, but users in Beijing, Shanghai and other parts of China reported that they could not reach any foreign sites whatsoever on Thursday morning—although it was not clear whether the problems were universal.
Meanwhile, users abroad and in Hong Kong—which is part of China but not subject to Beijing’s net censorship—said they were unable to reach any sites on the Chinese mainland.
… One company, Data Centre for China Internet, posted: “Latest news: most foreign websites can’t be accessed. Analysis: for commonly known reasons, a large number of foreign URLs are blocked. It is possible that the great firewall is undergoing some readjustment, mistakenly adding many foreign websites to the blocking list. The details are unclear.”
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