China’s Censorship System ‘Upgrade’ hits VPNs

China's Censorship System ‘Upgrade’ hits VPNs

The move has affected the usage of at least three popular VPN services and attacked others with more vigor than usual.

In China where the government has allowed limited access to some international websites or has banned them altogether, the use of VPNs has become increasingly common. The software allows the internet users to access banned sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Google. However, those resorting to the VPNs as their last hope have been experiencing some trouble lately – the country has been cracking down on the VPNs as reported by the state media and service providers.

Reports coming out from People’s Daily have revealed that the country’s ‘Great Firewall’ internet censorship system had been “upgraded for cyberspace sovereignty” and consequently it affected the usage of at least three popular VPN services while it attacked others with more intensity than expected. Strong VPN took to its blog and revealed that it has been facing “connection issues” from China and TunnelBear on the other hand has informed one of the reporters that it is investigating after reports from some China-based customers who “have been less successful in connecting over the last few weeks.”

The more sophisticated of these, Astrill, predominantly used by businesses and the expat community of the country, has alerted the users regarding issues with the iOS client. One of their employees have informed People’s Daily that the company was clueless as to how long the disruption would last “upgrade” but the company’s services on some platforms such as Apple’s Macs have not been affected. Golden Frog’s VPN service had also remained unaffected.

“The Chinese government has attempted to curtail the use of VPNs that its citizens use to escape the Great Firewall for a couple years. [The] latest attack appears to use deep packet inspection to inspect and block VPN protocols in combination with blocking specific VPN server endpoints,” Golden Frog president Sunday Yokubaitis said in a statement.


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