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Chinese Internet Censorship Continues

January 26, 2015

The internet service in China is suffering from further censorship attempts, the International Business Times reports, with users of virtual private networks (VPNs) being denied access to other services. VPNs are used in the country to try and find a way around the stringent censorship structures in place in the country.

Websites like Facebook, Twitter and other sites deemed to contain politically sensitive information or material are blocked in the country, but it is very common for Chinese internet users to use VPNs to find a way around these blocks. Even Google's email service—Gmail—was blocked last December. Xiao Qiang, a professor with the University of California, stated that "China is in the middle of a very ferocious power struggle or political cleansing under the name of an anti-corruption campaign." He noted that the blocking of further websites is related to the fact there are a lot of "political rumors and information related to China's high politics showing up in websites outside of China."

Some of the VPN networks that have been affected include Astrill, Golden Frog (who posted on their blog that some users may be experiencing trouble with the service due to the sudden block) and StrongVPN. The internet firewall programme is known as the Great Firewall.

The president of the Golden Frog VPN wrote that "This week's attack on VPNs that affected us and other VPN providers is more sophisticated that what we've seen in the past." In fact, the attacks and blocks on foreign internet services are getting more frequent, it is reported.

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