Google and China are at it again.
Over the weekend, Google accused the Chinese government of blocking Gmail in the country and making it appear that the technical problems were Google's. Google, however, was quick to defend itself after a thorough investigation revealed "no technical issue on our side," according to a company spokesperson.
NPR reported the recent attack demonstrates a higher level of sophistication than the hacks from a year ago that eventuallyprompted Google to close its search business in China for awhile.
For its part, China is dismissing Google's accusations out of hand. But experts watching what has happened in China in the wake of political uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East say censors are clamping down. Virtual private networks have been crippled or disabled, according to guardian.co.uk, and
scores of Chinese activists and dissidents have been questioned, harassed and in some cases detained by the authorities for weeks.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that even cell phone conversations in which the word "protest" was used more than once have been cut off. In short:
Chinese authorities are more determined than ever to police cellphone calls, electronic messages, e-mail and access to the Internet in order to smother any hint of antigovernment sentiment.
This should be interesting...