Google Strikes Back with New Firewall Software

A friend of mine works at Google headquarters in Shanghai. He said Google Shanghai has been working on a new type of firewall software for a long time, uncertain of the correct time to release it. He shared with me this screenshot from Google, however:

Google Firewall screenshot

Apparently the software has two forms: a Gmail plugin to keep your account secure from Chinese hackers (AKA the “human rights activist version”), and a desktop application which filters out requests to or from Chinese IP addresses (especially Shaoxing).

It will be interesting to see if Google actually releases this “GFW” software. (I’m guessing if they do, they’ll redesign that ugly logo…)

I’ve closed comments for this post because I promised to protect my Google friend’s anonymity and the comments are a bit of a risk.

April 2 Update: OK, the joke is over and comments are now open. This was my April Fool’s Day hoax. It was fairly obvious if you looked at the full size image (or compare to this page), but it appears most people did not. Anyway, now I will return to being fully serious about the Google issue, because I seriously don’t want Google to be completely cut off from China!


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. SirSteven Says: April 2, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I saw it was an April Fools yesterday, and had a good giggle – the best Google-related gag on the interwebs… well done!

    • I got quite a chuckle out of this as well. I liked the bit about why the comments were turned off as well. Had me for a second…but only a second 😉

      • I closed the comments because I figured this prank had a good chance of actually fooling a few people, and when you do a post like this, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the first comment will be “April Fool’s!”

        Funny thing is, I do have a friend that works for Google in Shanghai, and that little detail alone made one friend fall for it… 🙂

  2. Congratulations, John…you were the only one to get me this year. Goes to show how little brain activity there is when people read blogs only a couple of minutes after waking up 😉

  3. […] This is an odd one. Note that the headline is in quote marks because I know that today is April 1 and I know John Pasden can have a devilish sense of humor. Still, it doesn’t look like a joke…or does it? […]

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