The New York Times reports: The Chinese government appears to have blocked the ability of people in China to gain access to Google’s email service through third-party email clients, which many Chinese and foreigners had been relying on to use their Gmail accounts after an earlier blocking effort by officials, according to Internet analysts and users in China.
The blocking began last Friday and has ignited anger and frustration among many Internet users in China. Data from Google shows traffic to Gmail dropping to zero from Chinese servers.
The new step in blocking Gmail has consequences that go well beyond making it difficult for users to access personal emails. Some foreign companies use Gmail as their corporate email service, for example. Now, the companies will have to ensure that their employees have software known as VPNs, or virtual private networks, to access Gmail.
That software allows users to bypass the Chinese Internet censorship controls commonly known as the Great Firewall, but the authorities also attempt to inhibit the software.[Continue reading…]