China’s government has told telecommunications carriers to block individuals’ access to virtual private networks by Feb. 1, people familiar with the matter said, thereby shutting a major window to the global internet.
Beijing has ordered state-run telecommunications firms, which include China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to bar people from using VPNs, services that skirt censorship restrictions by routing web traffic abroad, the people said, asking not to be identified talking about private government directives.
Here’s China’s latest plan to keep its citizens from the open Internet
The Chinese government is cracking down on a key technology that Web surfers use to protect their privacy and get around online censorship, according to Bloomberg News.
Some of the country's biggest telecom companies — Bloomberg lists state-run China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom — are being instructed to block customers from using virtual private networks, a technology that redirects a person's Internet traffic through other servers to make it look like they are connected to the Web from someplace else.