On the 25th anniversary of the Tiannaman Square massacre, the Chinese government has made the decision to unblock Google for millions of Internet users across China.
In the month running up to the momentous date Chinese authorities had denied people access to a variety of Google features, including search, maps and Gmail.
China is infamous for maintaining a stranglehold over its country's Internet, swiftly curtailing any signs of dissent or challenge to the ruling Communist Party regime. Presumably this latest crackdown was a response to fears of renewed interest in the bloody massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing's Tiananmen Square a quarter of a century ago.
Users in the country reported to Reutuers that while access to Google search was limited, if it was finally made (using Google Maps) users would be redirected to the Hong Kong version.
The anti-censorshhip group, GreatGire.org, that is based in China also reported that Google services are once again accessible. "I'm not sure if it's a temporary glitch or a change of policy," a member of the group, posting anonymously, said. "If Google indeed is unblocked, it's a big victory for free speech."
They added that it is only a positive development if Google continues to use HTTPS, a form of encryption for websites that ensures individual search phrases cannot be censored within China.
"If Google were to back down and disable HTTPS-by-default for Chinese users it would be a victory for the censorship authorities," the member said. China has an unfortunate history of knee-jerk reactions to technological advancements. In April it banned government officials from using Windows 8 on its computers. The country has also blocked Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in previous years.