China’s VPN Crackdown and the Hope Internet Users Still Have

Man pointing to the VPN informationChina has long been filtering the internet and websites that forced Chinese people to use virtual private networks (VPN) to bypass the filter.

Because of the filter, a host of websites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube has been restricted. Because of VPN services, internet users attained access to all that the government filter restricted, but no longer.

Crackdown Launch

Chinese authorities launched a crackdown on unauthorized internet connections six months ago. Their crackdown, unfortunately, included virtual private networks. The crackdown may continue for another eight months, and so far, a number of VPN service providers have already been shut down.

VPN Shutdowns

One VPN service provider had announced it would pull the plug on its operation last July 1. Other popular VPN service providers have also announced their decision to shut down.

The crackdown has now left many mainland Chinese scrambling for new VPN tunnel software, offered by online vendors such as Private Tunnel.

Affected Users

Chinese companies and workers have been affected by the crackdown as well. Many businesses and startups have used VPN’s to access restricted social media where they can engage with customers and fans of the Western market. Workers who perform work online also used VPN’s.

One art curator in Shanghai, for example, has now been restricted from accessing art works she needs to look at. In Beijing, an environmental researcher can no longer use Google Docs to work in collaboration with her colleagues.

Without VPN services, workers now find themselves unable to work or with no work at all.

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Hope in Outside VPN’s

In spite of the crackdown, however, hope still exists for Chinese internet users in mainland China. You can find a VPN tunnel software based outside of China to access restricted websites and content.

These service providers will be untouched by the crackdown in the mainland, and you can rest easy, knowing that your VPN will stay up, providing you with its services.

Many Chinese have already expressed their outrage over the closures since the crackdown called back to isolationist policies of the past. As the crackdown continues, you may be better off with VPN’s based outside of China.