Update: Youtube unblocked in March 27 with country preference setting.
While Chinese foreign ministry spokesman refused to confirm Youtube had been blocked and stressed that China is not afraid of the Internet, Youtube confirmed yesterday (March 24) its website indeed has been blocked in China since March 23.
Video clips on Tibet crackdown
It is not yet clear why the Chinese government decided to block the site, but reports said that it is related to the videos uploaded by Tibetan exiles on violent crackdown of Tibetan protesters by Chinese government in March 2008 and early 2009. I searched through Youtube and found a number of videos that have been uploaded in the past few days on the above topic. (There are some longer video clips but too disturbing to put up here… ).
The video clips were released first via India T.V channel, showing the graphic details of atrocities in Tibet in March, 2008. Moreover, the Tibetan exile government claimed that 250 Tibetan had been killed, around 1,294 were serious injured since January 2009. It also showed a person named Tendar being beaten to death by police on March 14 last year. But Xinhua report said the footage was not in fact Tendar and the wounds shown were fake.
Youtube spokesman said that they are trying to restore their access in China. Let's check if the above videos would be compromised.
Youtube email harmonized?
Meanwhile, netizens from China report that Youtube e-mails to their users have also been harmonized. When they try to open Youtube e-mails, the email service company, Tencent gives a warning message:
You are about to open an insecure connection, do you want to continue?
Below is a screen capture of the warning message:
Over the Wall
There are various sites helping netizens to jump over the Great Fire Wall and get access to blocked site. You can try this one at seawe.net, or the more grass mud horse approach at fuckGFW (Chinese only).