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China Tightens Internet Restrictions Ahead Of Political Meeting, Holds Drill To Shut Down “Harmful” Websites

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Ahead of the Communist political party congress, China appears to be tightening controls to internet so as to have total control of people’s browsing habits.

A certain document that circulated online had confirmed that the drill took place “in order to step up online security for the 19th Party Congress and tackle the problem of smaller websites illegally disseminating harmful information”.

China has an increasing online population. Hence, it’s not out of place to see users searching for ways to bypass the country’s great firewall. With VPN installation, users can hide their IP addresses and access blocked sites.

Among blocked sites in China include: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google and BBC among others.

The state run media said the exercise that was carried out on Thursday was aimed at compelling internet data centers to submit contact details of website owners.

Just recently, cyber regulators in Beijing passed laws directed at VPNs which allow internet users bypass internet censorship, thereby allowing users to access blocked sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The state media affirmed that the recent exercise had officers from the internet surveillance department at the public security contacting internet data centers, requesting of them, to target websites that host content that are perceived to be harmful.

John Sudworth a correspondent from BBC in Beijing reported that within the two and half period the drill took place a number of sites were reportedly shut down.

Like Tim Cook said, I do hope that the restrictions will decrease with time; the users deserves some amount of privacy too.

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