Traffic from major sites redirected to China

Summary:Workers at Internet network operation centers around the world are trying to figure out why traffic to sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook was redirected to servers in China this week.

Workers at Internet network operation centers around the world are trying to figure out why traffic to sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook was redirected to servers in China this week, giving Web surfers around the globe a glimpse of what Chinese Internet users see when they try to access those blocked sites.

On Wednesday, someone at Chile's Domain Name System (DNS) registry, the Internet Protocol (IP) address lookup system, said a local Internet service provider had noticed strange behavior and asked his counterparts in other parts of the world about it on an industry e-mail list.

Read: Special Report: Google-China showdown

Specifically, one of the main DNS root servers, called the I Root Server and operated in Sweden, was directing visitors trying to go to those sites instead to servers in China. This effectively sent people behind the Great Firewall of China, a strictly controlled network of servers and routers the People's Republic of China uses to filter the Internet and block its citizens from accessing content deemed politically sensitive.

Representatives from Twitter and Facebook did not respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment on Thursday night.

A spokesman for Google, which owns YouTube, declined to comment, saying "this appears to be a specific ISP level issue." He said it was not related to Google's English-language corporate site appearing in Chinese, Danish, and other languages on Wednesday, which the company attributed to a bug.

For more of this story, read Web traffic redirected to China in mystery mix-up on CNET News.

Topics: Google, Browser, China, CXO, IT Employment

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