VPN Shutdown Has Everyone In China Worried

China Internet

If you’re in the United States or Europe, chances are that you use a virtual private network (VPNs) for pretty mundane reasons — an extra element of security, perhaps, or to watch videos online that can only be watched in certain countries.

If you’re in China, however, VPN may be a crucial way to get around China’s “Great Firewall” and access websites banned in the country, such as Twitter and Facebook. The use of VPNs is pretty much an open secret in the country, vital for international organisations to function, which authorities have refrained from actually shutting them down.

But that may be changing.

Today many of expats are freaking out about an article on China Digital Times which showed notices at a Business centre in the Shandong capital of Jinan (including one written by a mysterious and Orwellian-sounding “Jinan City Internet Monitoring Team”) that appear to ban the use of VPNs.

While there’s no real suggestion that the ban would be countrywide, any mention of shutting down VPNs is enough for people to get seriously worried it is part of a wider trend:

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