- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Chinese are walled from Web for 2 hours
A glitch in the “Great Firewall” of China likely caused many of that country’s half-billion Internet users to be cut off from the World Wide Web for more than two hours Thursday.
The firewall allows Chinese censors to block access to foreign websites on a government blacklist.
On Thursday, Internet users in China were unable to access some major Chinese Web portals and many popular foreign websites not normally blocked by censors, according to multiple postings by users on social networking sites.
At the same time, users in Hong Kong, North America and elsewhere began reporting trouble accessing key Chinese sites, such as the search engine Baidu and the website of the People's Bank of China.
Although the outages appeared to have been fixed within two hours, their scale and sporadic quality – some connections seemed to work fine, according to other users – set off a storm of speculation about the cause.
The Chinese telecommunications ministry and several major Internet companies said they were looking into the outage reports, according to the Guardian.
“Most likely it was some kind of change, update or patch” to the Great Firewall, said Adam Rice, a consultant who was for several years head of security for Tata Communications, the world’s largest wholesaler of Internet service.
“A large number of overseas [Internet] addresses have been blocked. It’s possible that the Great Firewall is undergoing adjustments and additions to the blocked list have caused a number of IP addresses to be accidentally included. Details are unknown,” read the posting from Data Center of China Internet.
The Weibo posting was removed by censors shortly after it went up.
Another posting, from Guan Peng, deputy general manager of China’s Yanhuang Network, said “a number of domain name servers have been blocked,” according to China Tech News.
Domain Name System (DNS) servers are the traffic cops of the Web, routing the electronic packets of Internet communications to the correct destination addresses.
Controlling access to DNS servers is an important element of any system of Internet control and censorship, said Mr. Rice.
He said some botched or premature effort by Chinese authorities to re-route Web traffic might be another explanation for Thursday’s outage.
On April 9, 2010, nearly 15 percent of the world’s Internet traffic, including that of many U.S. government and military sites, was briefly redirected through computer servers in China because of DNS routing instructions issued by a Chinese telecommunications company, according to a congressional commission that looked into the incident.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- North Korean dictator stuns world with uncle's execution
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow