Chinese internet users were cut off from all websites outside China for about an hour Thursday. Similarly, outsiders could not access Chinese sites. Was China testing a switch to turn the web on and off?
Thursday, its existence was widely apparent when, for about an hour, China cut itself off from the rest of the world. Chinese citizens were unable to access any sites outside the country, and outsiders were similarly blocked from reaching China-based sites.
The incident has led to speculation ranging from a software upgrade gone bad to a test of a “Great Firewall Switch” that could be used at will to turn the web on and off.