Virtual private networks can be used to access websites that otherwise are difficult to access or the websites that are being blocked by your ISP. Lots of people in China have been using VPNs to access websites and web services that are blocked by the Communist government. On and off, all major websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked by the Chinese government and to access these websites, people often rely on VPNs. Now the Chinese government has made the use of virtual private networks illegal.
Both virtual private networks and special cable connections will require prior government approval before they can be used. This Washington Post link has taken reference from the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology: Regulators will spend the next year “cleaning up” the Internet by taking aim at companies that provide VPN services to individual citizens so that they can access blocked websites, including Twitter and Facebook. The new law will not necessarily target bigger companies using VPNs to run their IT operations; they will mostly target individuals and companies enabling private citizens to access blocked websites. The entire process is supposed to run till March 31, 2018. A statement on the website says:
“China’s internet connection service market … has signs of disordered development that require urgent regulation and governance.”
This action is part of the move to “strengthen cyberspace information security management.”