Following the full force of Communist China’s boot trying to stamp out the Middle East-inspired “Jasmine Revolution,” Google has called the country out for interfering in its web mail services.
Users and advertisers of the Gmail services have been complaining about drops in stability over the last month or so, with de facto options like sending messages experiencing glitches.
A Google spokesperson has said that there’s nothing wrong on its side. It firmly points the finger at meddling from Chinese officials in a clever way: “This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail,” according to a spokesperson.
Web services have long been considered the grey market route to take by political activists in the country, organising protests and sending the kind of messages the censors at top levels are keen to quash.
President Hu Jintao has already called for a crackdown on the internet. It has increased surveillance on Gmail earlier this month, nesting with other banned services from the West such as Facebook and Twitter.
China is deadly serious about the internet. While strictly monitoring and censoring what its population can look at, watch or read, it alsowants to take the lead on search, standardisation and even chips and processors – dropping technological reliance on the West and building its own, leading walled garden of very little delights.
Meanwhile it is running a pilot scheme in Beijing with a location based service that is able to tell where citizens are through their mobile phones at all times. It is, of course, purely to improve on the city’s transit network.