China signals censors will continue to crack down on VPN services

The country has been disrupting VPN services, which can allow users to view the Internet unfiltered

China has defended its growing attempts to control the Internet, after disrupting several services that allowed users to view the Web free of censorship.

"As the Internet develops, and new circumstances arise, we will take new regulatory measures to keep up," said Wen Ku, a director with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, at a news conference on Tuesday.

The statement doesn't bode well for providers of virtual private networks (VPNs). These services can allow users to circumvent China's censorship and access the Internet unfiltered.

Last week, VPN providers including Astrill, StrongVPN, and Golden Frog reported access problems with their services.

In the case of Astrill, China has been disrupting the VPN protocols it once used to provide unfiltered Internet access to iOS devices, the company said in a posting for customers. "We know how access to unrestricted Internet is important for you, so our fight with Chinese censors is not over," the VPN provider added in a later posting.

"In China, the Internet's development must follow China's rules and regulations," Wen said, when reporters asked about the growing censorship and the logic behind the new measures. "Certain harmful content will be regulated according to Chinese law."

But the ministry wasn't concerned that the censorship might disrupt the local Internet industry. Wen pointed to the success of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, and the company's massive initial public offering on the U.S. stock market, as an example.

"Everyone can see that this is all because of the Chinese government's policy safeguarding the environment for the developing Internet industry," he said.

In recent months, China's Internet has become more censored than ever. The government has already blocked Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Last year it began cutting access to all Google services, in addition to several foreign mobile apps.

VPN services are gaining popularity among some sections of the Chinese public, and have become a convenient way to access popular foreign sites not allowed in the country.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentregulationinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?