China orders country's biggest carriers to block personal VPNs by February

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in January, China announced a 14-month plan to “clean up” unauthorized internet connections - a move that would make most VPNs illegal. Now, the government is clamping down even harder by ordering China's three biggest telecommunication companies to completely block access to individual VPNs by February 2018.

Bloomberg’s sources say state-owned telecoms firms - China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom - are being ordered to stop people from using VPNs, which millions rely on to circumvent the country’s Great Firewall and access blocked services. China blocks 135 out of 1,000 of the world’s top websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

It's unclear whether other internet service providers will also be forced to implement a ban, but the three affected companies boast over 1.3 billion subscribers combined.

Since the clampdown was announced seven months ago - part of President Xi Jinping’s plans for “internet sovereignty” - at least one VPN has closed its doors. GreenVPN told users that after “receiving a notice from regulatory departments,” it would stop the service from July 1.

Companies will still be able to use VPNs internally and can use leased lines to access the full internet, but the latter must be registered with officials. Firms are still learning to deal with China’s new Cybersecurity Law, which gives the government access to foreign companies’ technology, places restrictions on moving data beyond the mainland, and adds a more comprehensive security-review process for key hardware and software deployed in the country.

At the end of last month, China tightened its internet censorship laws by introducing regulations that require the checking of all audiovisual content to ensure it adheres to “core socialist values.”

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Raoul Duke

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why net neutrality is so important.
the problem here (People's Republic of China) is a little deeper than net neutrality
worrying about net neutrality in PRC is like worrying about net neutrality in North Korea, you can do it, but there are so many other fundamental worse problems
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
It must be tough living under a dictatorship but I guess the citizens must be used to it by now. That said, we all live under some form of dictatorship no matter how democratic the country's government brags that it is. Things are never as they seem because those that are in power would rather die than give it up.
 
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Raoul Duke

It must be tough living under a dictatorship but I guess the citizens must be used to it by now. That said, we all live under some form of dictatorship no matter how democratic the country's government brags that it is. Things are never as they seem because those that are in power would rather die than give it up.
some used to say we live under the tyranny of the majority, but I suspect the gov't/corporate (including defence contractors) apparatus has grown so big it actually runs things despite our voting.