Chinese government orders telecoms companies to block access to VPNS
July 12, 2017 10:03 AM
by Robert Mann
The Chinese government in Beijing has ordered telecoms companies to block access to virtual private networks (VPNs) as it seeks to strengthen “the Great Firewall,” an already significant program of domestic Internet regulation and censorship.
VPN’s allow users to disguise their locations by routing them to private networks abroad via an encrypted “tunnel.” A number of Chinese gamblers on the mainland are suspected of using them to access online gaming sites licensed elsewhere. Internet service providers often block unregulated sites targeting the Chinese mainland.
Bloomberg reports the government has ordered local services providers like China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom to ban all individuals from using VPNs by February 1. In China, Internet providers are legally liable for their customers’ conduct and can be held responsible for the sites they access.
VPN’s allow users to disguise their locations by routing them to private networks abroad via an encrypted “tunnel.” Some Chinese gamblers on the mainland use them to access online gaming sites licensed elsewhere, because unregulated sites that target the Chinese mainland are often blocked by ISPs.