The Google, Yahoo, MSN Redirection to Baidu Issue

Not long ago, there’s a prevailing story that people trying to access search engines Google, Yahoo! and MSN are being redirected by an Internet Service Provider to local favorite Baidu.

China Netcom was accused of redirecting not only those mentioned search engines, but also other websites including YouTube.

Nobody can confirm of this occurrence (can’t screen capture or log a redirection process) although there are different sides of the story that came out after the issue was raised by TechCrunch.

According to ComputerWorld Singapore:

Internet users in Beijing and Shanghai said attempts to access Google Inc. and other search engines were successful today, despite claims on a U.S. blog that traffic to these sites was redirected to Chinese search engine Baidu.com Inc.

Timing can be an important factor, with Chinese censors blocking access to some Web sites around politically sensitive dates, such as the June 4 anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre and the Chinese Communist Party Congress, a political confab held once every five years to choose top leaders and set policy. The latest Congress is now under way in Beijing.

Access to a search engine can also be blocked if a user searches for a politically sensitive word, such as a search for information on the banned Falungong religious group.

Yes indeed, timing can be a factor as the activity took place shortly after the United States President George W Bush affirmed his recognition of the Dalai Lama.

This could be a good example of cyberwar, without involving viruses or hacking through a site. China has often been mentioned as interested in spy programs. Could this be a start of something bigger?