Google’s Gmail—Under Attack In China (Again)
The winds of change are blowing all around the world. Political uprisings and upheaval in all across the Middle East are garnering worldwide attention. The same kind of thing has been happening in China, not that any outsiders are allowed to see, however. The rise of the Internet as a universal communication tool has aided dissidents around the world in organizing protests and political activities, but the Chinese government isn’t having any of it.
Once again, Google’s Gmail service is under attack in China, in what the tech giant is calling a deliberate attempt to make the problem appear to be with the Gmail service itself. Google representatives stated “We have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.”
This is not the first scrape that Google has suffered in the region. Since they entered the Chinese market in 2006, there have been a seemingly endless number of public and private clashes. To initially gain access, Google had to submit to censorship of its search results, a move they initially resisted. After realizing that the Chinese market was too large to pass up, Google bowed to the demands and applied the censorship policy to the Google.cn service. That was only the beginning.
Gmail’s service has been interfered with a number of times since their debut in China, most notably in 2010, when a sophisticated attack was launched from China, designed to steal the account information of scores of Chinese dissidents. At the time, Google retaliated by removing the censorship from its search engine, but the Chinese government responded by blocking the site entirely. Eventually, Google acquiesced and restored the blocks.
Once again Gmail is being attacked, and so far, short of declaring who the real culprit is, Google has not struck back. Perhaps they’ve learned that the complicated position that they’ve accepted in China is one fight they cannot possibly hope to win. Maybe they’re simply focusing on finding ways to block such attacks. At this point, there’s been no word either way. For the corporate giant with the motto “Don’t be evil.” It may be time once again to decide where they truly stand. If not, they may be forced to change the motto once and for all to “Don’t be evil, unless we’ll lose 338 million potential customers.”