Last month, President Hu Jintao ordered the Chinese government to tighten its controls over the Internet to avoid a "Jasmine Revolution" from occuring. The biggest stem of news surrounding the Chinese protests is the fact that no one is really protesting; however, Google is now reporting that the Chinese government has been tampering with its flagship Gmail service.
"Relating to Google there is no issue on our side. We have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail," a Google spokesperson told The Guardian on Sunday.
Google has refused to comment further on the issue, but security analysts have noted that the Chinese attacks have been quite sophisticated. "In the wake of what is happening in the Middle East, I don't think China wants to be seen making heavy-handed attacks on the Internet," an anonymous security executive remarked. "That would draw too much attention."
Google first announced that its services and users had been repeated attacked due to unknown political motivation. The hackers targeted activists specifically, Google said, via a vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.
Google also confirmed that the application it created to help people locate friends and relatives missing admist the disaster in Japan has also been affected by the government blockage.