The 'Great Firewall of China' reinforced, prevents encryption

The 'Great Firewall of China' reinforced, prevents encryption

Summary: It might be a source of aggravation for Western travelers and Chinese citizens alike, but that hasn't stopped the Chinese government from using smart technology to keep building the "Great Firewall of China."

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china boosts increases firewall censorship regulation
Credit: CNET

China has begun reinforcing its famous firewall with new, intelligent technology that prevents encrypted communication.

In order to prevent the more enterprising citizens of China from exploiting holes in the country's firewall through the use of virtual private networks (VPN) and circumventors, the Chinese government is using new technology to block encryption, according to The Guardian.

The publication reports that both consumers and businesses are being hit by the new Internet barrier, which is able to "learn, discover and block" encrypted channels provided by VPN companies. According to one firm who has a customer base in the Asian country, one of the largest telecom providers in the area, China Unicom, is now automatically killing connections to the Internet when a virtual private network is detected.

For Chinese residents, this could mean that access to Western reading material and websites including social networks could become even harder to access. By using blockedinchina.net, you can see which websites are currently inaccessible through standard Internet access -- and this includes Facebook, Twitter and YouTube -- which may contain content that goes against China's policies or ethos.

Companies that run a VPN business which reaches out to a Chinese audience must register with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to The Global Times. In addition, only Chinese companies and Sino-foreign joint ventures are allowed to apply to begin a VPN business in China, possibly due to registration regulations which keep the "Great Firewall of China" operating properly.

The alleged VPN-detection and blocking technology will not only hit audiences that want to access social networks, but will also affect businesses. One executive at a multinational tech firm in China told the publication:

"You can't block all VPNs without blocking businesses, including Chinese businesses. China wants businesses to put regional headquarters in China. It has these economic and business goals that are reliant on modern business infrastructure."

Topics: Censorship, Government, China

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7 comments
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  • "vimeo.com" works, though

    So if there are some opposing materials on this site, Chinese people can see it.
    DDERSSS
  • Saracsm: Nice to see that the Chinese are so focused on security

    Maybe next they'll figure out how to keep Chinese hosts from sending spam out of the country.

    It used to be claimed that the Chinese transition to a capitalist economic system would inevitably lead to democracy (John Carroll used to make that argument on a regular basis), but I've never seen much evidence to support the proposition.
    John L. Ries
    • Already there

      Oh, China is already a capitalist country -- make no mistake. Walk the streets, buy some goods, look at their health plan (it might be worse for the average citizen than the US's), etc. The only thing different is that there is a rare 0.02% of their population that is in power with the existing structure, and a lot of that power is spent in preserving the structure. The only thing worse than a 2 party system is a 1 party system.
      petonic
      • You mean, like in California?

        " The only thing worse than a 2 party system is a 1 party system."
        Tony R.
  • That can't be good.

    Preventing encryption. Just the thing for a totalitarian government that hates freedom.
    Dr_Zinj
    • Where there's a will, there's a way.

      There's always steganography, although it's not useful for video or audio, only text messages.
      Tony R.
  • One way around it.

    There is one way around the firewall. It's a little slow but it's available. Satillite Internet is a viable option for companies.
    Brendon Jarrett