Authorities in China are embarking on what they describe as a massive cleanup of the internet connection service in the country; it has been reported.
The ministry of industry and information technology has announced that it is set on carrying out a massive cleanup exercise in a bid to strengthen the local cyberspace.
In a statement, the ministry said that it was determined to clean up the industry after it emerged that the local cyberspace was experiencing disorderly development.
‘There is an urgent need to regulate and govern the local cyberspace,’ the statement read in part.
It appears that the new measures are targeting VPN services in the county. For years, VPNs have provided the best solution for internet users in China to bypass the strict restrictions that are in place in the country and access websites that the government has banned.
The rise in demand for VPN services in the country has been fuelled by the decision of the Chinese government to implement tightly-controlled regulatory measure for accessing internet services in the country.
For years now, the Chinese government has maintained a list of banned sites in the country. People in China have been coping with the slow connectivity speeds of VPNs in the country to access some of the favourite sites that cover Chinese news.
In the wake of the recent news, observers have pointed out that the Chinese government is intent on controlling access to the internet in the country even further with the implementation of the new changes.
According to Charlie Smith of Greatfire.org, a site that maintains real-time updates on internet censorship in China, the proposed changes by the Chinese government will affect VPN services that operate in the country.
‘Given that all local VPN service providers will have to register with the government to operate in the country, the new rules are unlikely to affect foreign VPN service providers,’ he said.
However, he added that foreign VPN service providers might have to comply with the new rules if they have a VPN server in China. In such a case, he said, the companies will have to choose between registering with the government and giving up the Chinese server.
According to David Gorodyansky, the CEO of Anchor Free VPN, the sustained effort of the Chinese government in regulating the internet is only giving rise to the Streisand effect, with many people in China looking for alternative methods of bypassing the restrictions.
It remains to be seen how internet users in China will react to the proposed changes over the course of time.