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China tightens Great Firewall declaring unauthorized VPNs illegal

     
6:32 am on Jan 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2064587/chinas-move-clean-vpns-and-strengthen-great-firewall#comments [scmp.com]

China tightens Great Firewall by declaring unauthorised VPN services illegal

Beijing has launched a 14-month nationwide campaign against unauthorised internet connections, including virtual private network (VPN) services, which allow users to bypass the country’s infamous “Great Firewall”.

A notice released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Sunday said that all special cable and VPN services on the mainland needed to obtain prior government approval – a move making most VPN service providers illegal.

The “clean-up” of the nation’s internet connections would start immediately and run until March 31, 2018, the notice said.
8:19 am on Jan 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wonder if hack activity will decrease?
9:56 am on Jan 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So this applies to VPN service providers operating in mainland China, inside the Great Firewall? In other words, connecting to a VPN outside the country is still legal?
11:08 pm on Jan 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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They're laying the groundwork, just like they did with the requirement to register websites with the police, so that if you're using a VPN, and it's reachable from China, then it needs to be "approved". Anyone who wants to market their services to the Chinese people will need to submit to this regulation apparently. They're getting pretty good at determining when you're using a VPN, so now theyll have legal justification for shutting you down I guess.
8:29 am on Jan 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Yes, that's the way I read between the lines as well.

FWIW, as a maintainer of Debian software I've been asked to help with packaging software to aid in circumventing this kind of deep packet inspection. I hope it's OK if I mention [fteproxy.org...] here.
6:39 am on Jan 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If you had a VPN outside China they really couldn't do much to companies offering such services. It's like their ICP registration regulations for websites I guess. However, it's probably likely that this will be used to crack down on 'alternative' VPNs and proxies like the one you linked to.