Google has issued a statement saying that earlier search disruptions were no glitch, but were caused by the Chinese Government.
Earlier today, Google’s workaround for allowing mainland China users to search without censorship seemed to have been blocked completely.
According to Google, this was no accident: China did this by blocking Google result pages containing the letters “rfa,” which Google added as a reference to Radio Free Asia, another service which is inaccessible for Chinese mainlanders.
Previously this week, Google decided that rather than leaving China, it would take a sort of middleground by routing searches from the mainland to servers in Hong Kong, where users are allowed uncensored access to the internet. There was speculation that the standoff leading up to this was all a bit of posturing on the part of both Google and China
If China actually stepped in and blocked the searches, however, this would minimize the chances that Google and China were just putting a show. After all, the last thing China wants is to give Google a louder megaphone with which to call it out.