China blocks Gmail


Given how both entities like to track its users, I think this falls under “Government hates competition.”


China does the hokey-pokey with freedom. Sure they put their right hand in, but then they take it out.

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Are they blocking email from senders in China to Gmail users? A couple stories I read earlier today implied this may be happening, so I was curious. (Honestly, it’d also explain the downtick in stuff caught in my spam folder, too.)

I don’t believe Google imprisons its critics, so it’s not an exact moral equivalence.


I didn’t say it was. Though with a slogan like “Do no evil” it is probably just a matter of time before “Firefox/IE user re-education camps” open up.

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It’s not just Gmail they’re blocking. I was just over there and they were blocking all things Google–which includes ReCaptcha and Google maps (when you see a scrollable/zoomable map on the web it’s generally through Google.)

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And will this affect spam production?

A few years ago I tried to send a couple ofmap links to an exchange student showing where Chicago is, only to discover that the only map of the US she could get online was a silouette of North America with no country boundaries, cities, or even the Great Lakes system to use as reference points. So their lack of access to google maps is not a new phenomenon.

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I had not previously attempted to use Google Maps in China. It’s just this time I tried to use a website that overlaid data onto it–no go.

“All that necessary for EVIL to triumph is for good men to keep buying MADE IN CHINA” - Me

It’s a lot like the Google car; these kind of exciting new developments take some time to properly implement, but they’re working on it as hard as they can.

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This is the one-trick-est account I ever did see.


If you’re visiting and need google services, make sure your VPN(s) are set up before arriving.


An alternative to a VPN is an SSH client with portforward setup. Run a proxy (e.g. squid) on your machine, portforward (or the proxy port if different) to your local machine, use it as web proxy.

Preferably have several machines on different IPs (easier when you sysadmin them) for your disposal in case the adversary does the blocking on the basis of traffic per connection and you plan to use it for more than just lightweight web duty.


Don’t forget to change the DNS lookup servers as well or at least make sure that’s its running through the ssh tunnel/proxy/vpn setup otherwise you’d get the local, then proxy lookups.

It’s my usual setup, ssh tunneling, when travelling and I need to access banking/credit card accounts/etc,. on an unsecured open line. Always test run before going out in field.


Or use the IP address. In any case, check the SSH server fingerprint. Test runs in low-stakes environments are more than suggested, so you have experiences with how the setup commonly misbehaves.

PuTTY is a good windows SSH terminal that supports portforwards. They are buried in the bottommost part of the configuration but they are there.

Edit: You should be able, if the server is not set up to not permit, to forward even other ports. So if you are connecting to server and need to get to, the forward directive should be “ssh -L 143: @” or so, in syntax for common commandline client.

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What’s this Putty you speak of? Kidding!!

I just miss my old EEE PC setup. Just ssh -D 9999 -p 443 and alter the SOCKS to localhost with port 9999 on the webrowser and done. Both server and laptop have the keys rigged to go. Only 1 password to remember, to decrypt the private keys. These days I’m back on windows 7 so have to use Putty.

What’s iOS app for SSH? People still use iSSH? They allow that anymore?


Don’t know about iPhones but on a mac laptop I just summoned the terminal window and then used commandline SSH.

Ios is somewhat less open than MacOSX. However, you should be able to search the itunes store for ssh.