Google Blames Own Glitch for New China Blockages

Users of Hong Kong search engine are getting errors
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 2:24 PM CDT
Google Blames Own Glitch for New China Blockages
The Chinese flag outside the Google China headquarters in Beijing.   (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Internet users in China couldn't use Google today, but this time it looks to be the fault of a Google coding glitch. People using the search engine—now operating out of Hong Kong—reported getting error messages for all queries. Instant suspicion fell on Chinese authorities, but Google said the "blockage seems to have been triggered by a change on Google’s part.”

Apparently, a coding snafu is adding the letters "rfa" to all search requests, and they're running smack into China's "great firewall" because they appear to be an attempt to connect with the banned Radio Free Asia, explains the New York Times. Google says it's working on the problem. Elsewhere, the Yahoo email accounts of at least three foreign journalists in China appear to have been hacked, reports AP.
(More Google stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.