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Chinese Government's Grip Over Internet Censorship Tightens

February 2, 2015

The Chinese government is continuing its recent control efforts over internet censorship in the country, Mashable reports. Access to various VPNs has become restricted alongside the already long-running restrictions applied to accessing sites like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Gmail.

The most popular commercial VPNs, like Astrill, Golden Frog and StrongVPN have been restricted, with users receiving notes from the sites stating that new censorship measures are restricting their access but, as is the case with Astrill, they plan to be back up and running with a new app within the next few days. A number of other VPN services, however, remain active, including Lantern, Psiphon and Tor.

By meddling with the VPN access for the Chinese public, the government has inadvertently caused issue for Chinese astronomers who can no longer gain access to the latest scientific data from abroad, as well as Chinese graphic designers using sites like Shutterstock to search for images, and even Chinese students who want to apply for American universities.

Those in charge of the increasing restrictions have hinted that more are to come, despite the wide-spread disruption and outrage it has so far caused. According to Bill Bishop, the editor of Sinocism, the Chinese government has a vision "to create effectively one world, two internets [...] where they have the Chinese internet and they have the rest of the world. There are still links but they seem to be squeezing them tighter and tighter."

Last Tuesday an official for the Ministry of Industry and Information in the Chinese government, Wen Ku, stated that the "development of the internet has to be in accordance with Chinese laws."

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