China moves to block internet VPNs from 2018
  • Vote Up0Vote Down venynxvenynx
    Posts: 2,986Member
    China will completely block access to much of the global internet as
    part of a sweeping crackdown aimed at suppressing dissent and
    maintaining the Communist party’s grip on power.VPN service

    The government has ordered China’s three telecommunications companies to
    completely block access to virtual private networks, or VPNs, by
    February 2018, Bloomberg News reported, citing anonymous sources. The
    three internet providers, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom,
    are all state-owned.

    China operates the largest internet censorship regime in the world,
    blocking access to thousands of websites including Google, Facebook,
    Twitter and Instagram. Internet controls also mean news and commentary
    critical of the ruling Communist party and information about events like
    the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre are almost impossible to find within

    But millions of Chinese citizens circumvent China’s censorship system,
    known as the Great Firewall, by using a VPN, allowing unfettered access
    to any website.

    The latest directive comes as China prepares for a twice a decade
    political meeting in Beijing in late 2017, with various factions within
    the government jockeying for dominance in any potential shuffle of top
    officials. It also comes on the heels of a 14-month “cleanup” of
    internet services announced in January, part of president Xi Jinping’s
    push for so-called “internet sovereignty”.

    “This is a significantly escalated form of internet control and shows
    there is unprecedented urgency and desperation at the top of the
    government,” said Xiao Qiang, a professor focusing on censorship in
    China at the University of California, Berkeley. “This is clearly about
    the highest levels of political struggle and the different factions
    using the internet as their battlefield.

    “If Xi’s opponents cannot release information inside China because of
    the censorship apparatus, they do it outside China and then the
    information filters back.”

    Xiao pointed to recent cracks in the Great Firewall, including
    allegations of corruption levelled by a Chinese businessman in New York
    that have managed to circulate widely within China. The claims, many
    unverified, have been seen as damaging to the head of the country’s
    corruption watchdog and one of Xi’s closest allies.

    In the coming months Xiao predicted the authorities would step up their
    internet crackdown: “There have always been controls, but this will be
    another level”.

    The ban on VPNs could also harm academics, software developers and
    foreign businesses. For years Chinese researchers have complained they
    lack adequate access to overseas journals and methods to communicate
    with universities around the world, while developers rely on code hosted
    on websites based outside China.

    Foreign businesses in China often use VPNs to secure their company data
    or communicate with company headquarters. It is not clear whether the
    ban will affect corporate VPNs.

    “This is ridiculous. If they’re as interested in security and stability
    as they say they are, then they should leave VPNs accessible,” Kaiser
    Kuo, former head of international communications at Chinese tech giant
    Baidu, posted online.

    “The number of people using them in China is really small, but really
    vocal — and I don’t think they’ll just take this lying down. Will
    reflect very badly on the party. Dark days ahead.

    Earlier this month a popular Chinese VPN was forced to shut down after “receiving a notice from regulatory departments”.

    China has instituted bans on VPNs and other methods to bypass censorship
    in the past, especially during high-level government meetings in
    Beijing. But it remains to be seen whether the latest directive will
    become permanent.When comes to the issue of online privacy and security,
    we suggest to use a VPN, and our recommendation is RitaVPN.Qwer432

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