China blocks VPN services that override online censorship

World Today

FILE – China is blocking VPN services that let users skirt online censorship of popular websites such as Google and Facebook amid a wider crackdown on online information, tech companies and specialists said Friday, Jan. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

Tech companies and specialists said last week that intensified controls had hit a wide swath of VPN (virtual private network) services, which many foreigners in China as well as millions of Chinese depend on to connect to servers outside the country. 

The Chinese government blocks thousands of websites to prevent what it deems politically sensitive information from reaching Chinese users, an effort dubbed the Great Firewall.

Wen Ku, director of telecoms development at the Ministry of Industry and Information, said on Tuesday that “harmful information” must be managed, but  declined to elaborate on what “harmful” meant and did not respond directly to allegations by tech companies and specialists.

“In China, internet development must follow Chinese laws and regulations. Certain harmful information should be managed according to Chinese laws,” he told a news conference.

He also said that China would introduce new Internet regulatory measures “as new circumstances arise.”

This post was complied with information from The Associated Press