Gmail unavailable in China, Great Firewall blamed

Google's Gmail is the most popular email platform out there and the service is hated by some governments that want to keep the populace in the dark about what is going on in their country and the world around them. One of the countries that has a problem with freely disseminated information online is China and word has surfaced that Gmail has been blocked in the country.

One anti-censorship advocate, called, has suggested that it's not some sort of technical outage in China that has taken Gmail down, it's the so-called Great Firewall of China. China uses a massive firewall to block access to citizens within the country to information online. According to large numbers of Gmail web addresses were cut off Friday and some users show the service is still down as of today.

A Google spokesman said that Google has checked its end and nothing is wrong. Most Google services have been disrupted in China since June, but Gmail was still accessible and available until late last week. Critics of the Chinese firewall claim that China has increased the disruption to foreign internet services over the last year in an attempt to set up its own internet that is blocked off from the rest of the world.

Gmail blockage could cause issues for businesses in China that rely on Gmail for their corporate email service. A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said that she didn't know anything about Gmail being blocked within the country.

SOURCE: Reuters