Vast swathes of the internet in China were inaccessible on Thursday, after what appears to have been a glitch with the country's so-called Great Firewall.
Some users reported being unable to access major Chinese websites while others said they were blocked from accessing overseas websites that are not usually subject to blocking by the Chinese authorities.
According The Washington Times, the two-hour service disruption was most likely caused by a glitch in the Great Firewall.
Elsewhere, the Bangkok Post reported that officials had closed more than 42 local websites and deleted more than 210,000 blog posts since mid-March as part of a crackdown against online rumours targeting the country's political elite.
It said the figures came from a three-line announcement made by the official Xinhua news agency.
Much of the furore centres around a former Communist Party official, Bo Xilai, whose wife has been named as a suspect in the death of a British business man.
But the service disruption is emblematic of the severity with which China continues to censor the internet via its state-run blocking technology.
Last week, Swedish researchers disclosed the mechanisms used in China to prevent its citizens from accessing the Tor network, which enables web users to surf the web unseen by the prying eyes of censors.
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