On April 1, 2015 Google announced that they will no longer recognize the CNNIC Root and EV (extensive validation) certificate authorities (CAs).
On April 2, 2015 Mozilla concluded that CNNIC’s behaviour in issuing an unconstrained intermediate certificate to another company was ‘egregious practice’ and that Mozilla products would no longer trust any certificate issued by CNNIC’s roots. Mozilla also published a more detailed report about their actions.
After unauthorized digital certificates for several Google domains were exposed by Google and Mozilla on March 23, 2015, CNNIC censored any mention of these posts. CNNIC is not only a certificate authority, they are also China’s online censorship apparatus. CNNIC was, is and will continue to practice internet censorship.
News about the April 1 and 2 announcements has again been censored on social media and also on traditional media in China.
Below is a screenshot of Weibo posts about these announcements.
The first post in the screenshot is about Google revoking CNNIC. Notice that below the first post, there are three buttons while on the second post there are four buttons. The retweet function on the first post about CNNIC is missing. The Chinese authorities are getting more creative about how they prevent negative information from spreading! Later, however, the authorities resorted to ancient practices and the post was completely removed.
Even reports which appeared on traditional media websites, detailing how CNNIC were calling out Google for being “unintelligible”, have been censored.
NetEase’s report titled “Chrome and Mozilla revoke CNNIC CA” was deleted within two hours of publishing. NetEase is one of the largest Chinese internet service providers.
Engadget Chinese's report titled "Google revokes CNNIC CA" is blocked by GFW
Sina’s report titled “Google’s decision is unintelligible and unacceptable says CNNIC” was deleted. Sina is the largest Chinese-language web portal.
Sohu’s report titled “CNNIC condemn Google ” was deleted. Sohu sits 44th overall in Alexa's internet rankings.
Open Source China’s report titled “Google revokes CNNIC and EV root CAs” was deleted. Open Source China is the largest open source community in China.
Caijing’s report titled “Google revokes CNNIC CA; CNNIC says the decision unintelligible” was deleted. Caijing is an independent magazine that covers social, political, and economic issues.
In fact, almost all reports about CNNIC’s loss of face have been censored in China. This is in addition of to the wide scale censorship of Google and Mozilla’s posts about CNNIC CA last week.
CNNIC said in a statement that ‘the decision that Google has made is unacceptable and unintelligible to CNNIC, and meanwhile CNNIC sincerely urge that Google would take users’ rights and interests into full consideration.”