China’s government is cracking down further on the use of virtual private networks to circumnavigate its Great Firewall, as part of the ongoing game of whack-a-mole between censors and an increasingly tech-savvy population.
Charlie Smith, co-founder of the censorship in China monitoring site GreatFire.org, said there has been a significant increase in the usage of VPN services over the last year.
“This is a direct result of the authorities blocking more websites in China, causing huge inconvenience,” he said. The knock-on effects of this can be seen through increased activity on blocked sites such as Twitter.
However, Smith said the authorities have recently cracked down hard on the most popular commercial VPNs.