Even 20 minutes ago, it was working fine for me.
I did a web search on the (old) PC game "Freedom Force" (there was a $2 special on the game via Steam and I wanted to see some reviews).
That immediately resulted in an error page and my access to google.com (not google.com.cn) resulted in errors as well.
(Someone has probably made a list of search terms that trigger this reaction...I guess that "freedom" is among them, as well as "Tibet" and "Tiananmen", among others)
After ~5 minutes though, access returned.
Although in day to day life as a foreigner in China, one may feel more free than one does in the US, experiences such as this are jarring reminders that one has very little recourse against the government here.
I'm trying to think of aspects of people's lives where government does not have some influence. But for that matter, the same could be said of life in the US as well - it is just that I am more accustomed to how the US government does things and so nothing strikes me as odd about it. (Taxes, health insurance, registration of anything, working, regulation of the food that is bought, regulation of the stores that sell it to me, rules and support of the roads that I drive to purchase anything, the cops that are on those roads enforcing traffic law, etc...in a sense the government is equally pervasive in the US as here)
Rambling now...enough on that for the time being.
Time for trip to gym, then more walking around Shanghai.
Happy to discover that I'm actually only a few blocks away from the first hostel where I stayed when I first visited Shanghai 9.5 years ago. Will check that out on my way to explore some other places.