Google's services don't work in a specific way
May 24, 2009 5:30 AM   Subscribe

Why aren't most google services working for me and why do the error pages look identical in firefox, chrome, and IE8?

For about a week most google services have stopped working for me. Oddly, I get identical error messages that look like this in all three browsers on my computer (firefox, chrome, and IE8 in Windows Vista) as well as on Mac with Safari in OSX. By identical, I mean that the layout, font, and wording is exactly the same. I am in China, so this may be related to the Great Firewall, but I don't think so. As a comparison, here's an image of the error page I get when trying to view youtube (which is currently blocked in China): firefox, chrome, IE8. While the error is the same in those 3 screenshots, the browsers display them differently.

This behavior happens with all* services that I can remember, but gmail ( redirecting to doesn't exhibit the problem.
posted by msbrauer to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Do services work for you?

Where are you accessing these sites? At work, school or home? They could be blocked by your employer or your school.
posted by nikkorizz at 6:03 AM on May 24, 2009

Do you get this for all Google sites (i.e. secured and unsecured), or only while you're trying to log in to your Google accounts?

Try TOR, GPass or SSH tunnel to a trusted connection to see if it's really the firewall.
posted by wei at 6:06 AM on May 24, 2009

The error is coming from the proxy you're connected to. It's an HTTP page, which is why it's the same in all your browsers. If you are not intentionally using a proxy, it's possible your ISP is running a transparent proxy, so as to cache the most popular requests closer to its customers. Contact whoever is running that server.
posted by kindall at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2009

Response by poster: Access is at home through the main cable company in the city. does work, but that doesn't help with other google services. I get google's error page at, for instance. I should've tried bypassing the firewall before....using TOR I have no problem using google, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the firewall itself. I'm not intentionally using another proxy, so my bet is something going on at the ISP.
posted by msbrauer at 6:54 AM on May 24, 2009

It's probably malware that has changed your DNS servers or proxy settings.
posted by themel at 8:07 AM on May 24, 2009

The key in your error page is the text Server: GreenCache2100. My guess is there's an HTTP proxy cache upstream from you, and when it can't load a page it displays this error. If you don't have a proxy configured yourself then your ISP is probably forcing you to go through the proxy.

I've never heard of GreenCache2100, but there's a whole lot of Google search results for "greencache-2100" and "greencache2100". Most of the results are in Chinese. Doing some searching there may help you figure it out.
posted by Nelson at 9:24 AM on May 24, 2009

GreenCache is a product of the Chinese IT company GForce. It seems to be primarily marketed to the corporate tier, but it may well be a part of the Great Firewall.
posted by dhartung at 1:49 PM on May 24, 2009

Response by poster: Well, talking with some others here in China and looking at Herdict, it seems that the Great Firewall is getting more restrictive lately, and Google is being blocked for some. I'm fine with Tor (although google usually doesn't like that, saying I look like a spammer) and using Google's App Engine as a proxy. Here's a few techniques to get past the GFW recommended by Shanghaiist.
posted by msbrauer at 2:40 AM on May 28, 2009

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