September 15, 2012

Afghanistan's Google Blockade


For the last few days, communicating with the world beyond Afghanistan has been tedious.  In an effort to avoid having same violent protests presently sweeping several Islamic nations, the Afghan government not only shut down Youtube, but has blocked all access to Google, thus including google products such as Blogger and Gmail.  It has been a serious headache.

After 2 days of effort I have been able to develop a work-around, although I prefer not to share the details as I have no idea how long this blockade may remain in effect. It would be a shame to undermine my own efforts. Other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo remain accessible, as do their respective email services.  But considering how many people and businesses rely on Gmail, the consequences are significant. 

It is interesting to note that the act of blocking Google in Afghanistan is intended to quell riots, while in much of the world the same act would spur outrageous protests.  Furthermore as only Google is blocked, information regarding the highly offensive film "Innocence of Muslims" remains accessible elsewhere on the internet.  Lastly, although Google has been inaccessible since Thursday evening, I've yet to see any international press on the subject.  Nor has there been any official statements on the matter.  Hopefully access will resume soon, but if not, at what point will people begin to talk about this? 

Oh, and in case you are wondering, this blog is powered by Blogger. 

**Update** 
After posting the above article last night, it appears that Google is again available in Afghanistan.  I have had no difficulty accessing my email.  But there is the strange coincidence that Twitter is not functioning very well, as Google Chrome and Tweetdeck both claim the security certificate as suspicious.