I have friends that live in China and travel there from time to time. They have different rules regarding how the internet is used, which some people attempt to bypass using VPNs. The people at comparitech suggested I post this article showing research they have done regarding which VPNs should and should not work from China. The original article can be found here.
On March 31, the Chinese government pushed out an update to the Great Firewall blackholing hundreds of VPN servers with the goal of stifling internet freedom and privacy. Its system of high-tech spying is pervasive; when you’re online in China, someone is always watching. VPNs have never been more important to expats and citizens, and they’re being systematically detected and shut down by the government in really advanced and upsetting ways.
Large scale testing of VPNs in China is challenging, not least because someone caught inside the country running these tests would be at the mercy of Chinese authorities. China represents one of the biggest markets for VPN use, but there is a lack of reliable information on which VPNs actually work behind the Great Firewall.
To mitigate the ethical issues of employing a tester within China, Comparitech rented a server in Shenzhen and commissioned me to test 59 VPN providers after the latest government purge. I checked each app to make sure I could connect to banned websites and get around regional content bans.
n order to supplement our technical testing, we also brought our specialist on internet privacy in China and Comparitech.com editor, Paul Bischoff. Paul, who lived in China as a journalist for several years, summed up the situation in China like this, “As the world’s checked each surveillance state, the Chinese government does not like online anonymity or privacy. Any part of the internet beyond Chinese authorities’ control that allows private communication or the spread of information by users is blocked by the Great Firewall.”
“Likewise, any popular online content that disparages China or the Communist Party is promptly censored. VPN services, which can bypass these restrictions, are largely blocked as well, but a handful have the resources and knowledge to give users reliable access to the free and open internet.”
Internet privacy in China
Every bit of internet traffic going in or out of China is wiretapped. Seven backbone connections serve the country, and each connection is checked each, logged, checked, and double-checked by farms full of stifling internet snooping in the name of the Party. ….
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