That was the subject line of an email Shanghaiist reader Gerard just sent us in response to our Gmail comment in today’s “Extra! Extra!” post. Here is what he had to say:
I just read a comment at shanghaiist.com about having difficulties to connect to Gmail… have you tried Google? Its not working either. The Great FireWall is blocking access to apparently all Google related websites (I can’t access google.cn, either). There is an interesting article at BoingBoing.
Minutes later, Gerard followed with this note:
Just an update regarding the blockade…
-Not everybody has problems having access to Google/Gmail, it depends on the isp? Location??
-Gmail is still accessible through pop/smtp
-Google can be reached by anonymous surfing websites like: www.anonymouse.org
Yes, it seems like they are screwing with us again. Thanks for the heads up, Gerard. Here is the current status at Shanghaiist headquarters:
- Google.com does not load without a proxy
- Google.cn loads
- Gmail does not load, but we can read our POP Gmail through our mail application
- Google News (news.google.com) loads and we can also view Google news feeds from our RSS reader just fine
- GTalk when used through an application like Adium works (there is no GTalk for the Mac)
How are things for you? We’ll let you know if anything changes on our end.
UPDATE: As of 8:16 am Wednesday, here is the status at Shanghaiist headquarters:
- Google.com loads, quickly
- Gmail loads and seems to work
- Google News loads, but searches on it do not. Clicking on links on the front page of Google News results in an error message, but refreshing the page after the error message gives you the news story you clicked on. Google News links accessed through an RSS reader work.
- Google.cn loads
- On Google.com, some “bad” searches work — like a “tiananmen square” image search turns up photos of tanks. But any search for FLG results in an error message, and, oddly, an image search for “tibet” resulted in an error.
- Shanghaiist.com still appears to load slowly due to Google Ads
- It’s possible, likely even, that these are isolated occurrences that most PC users would blame on the fact that we use Safari on a Mac.