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Big (Internet) trouble in big China

When it comes to Internet outages, a few moments without service could seem like hours, and a few minutes could feel like a lifetime. In the case of China’s outage yesterday, try a few hours, which probably feels like an eternity especially if a significant part of one of the world’s largest nations loses access.

But that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday in China. Internet access in China was non-existent in large parts of the country for quite some time. Check out this twist in the story though: for some reason, traffic was redirected to an IP address based here in the U.S.. The IP address in question is owned by┬áDynamic Internet Technology, a firm that in the past has hosted software which was capable of bypassing the Internet censorship methods employed in China.

One group, dubbed GreatFire, which is opposed to China’s adoption of widespread censorship as general policy, thinks it’s possible that Chinese authorities simply made an error. Dynamic Internet Technology’s site was blocked in China, but GreatFire says that someone may have attempted to block the company’s IP address, and instead redirected much of the nation’s traffic to that page.

Considering how secretive China’s government is, the root cause of the outage may never be known. It’ll be interesting to see what measures the Chinese government will take to ensure that such outages don’t occur in the future.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.