China blocked content delivery network provider Edgecast, a subsidiary of Verizon, causing outages of many non-sensitive sites that should not otherwise have been targeted, including drupal.org, Firefox’s add-on site, Speedtest.net and The Atlantic. HSBCnet, the global banking giant’s corporate banking portal, appears to be another victim of collateral damage in the tightening of the Great Firewall, which also started blocking access to one of Akamai’s domains around the same time.
Both Edgecast and HSBCnet had to put up customer notices acknowledging the outage in China. Edgecast also provided further instructions and support to customers whose websites were affected. Many of the blocked websites mentioned above had restored service in China later in the month. The censorship move came just days before the country hosted the World Internet Conference, which was intended to showcase China’s role as a technology innovator. Instead, a lot of criticism has been aired on popular social media platforms like Twitter, especially regarding the country’s role in internet censorship.