Chinese man sentenced to five years in prison for running VPN service2017-12-27 10:36 by Daniela
Tags: VPN, China
A man in southern China was sentenced to 5.5 years years in prison for selling a virtual private network to bypass internet censorship, amid Beijing's crackdown to enforce its infamous "Great Firewall".
He was suspected of running the VPN service – which reroutes internet traffic to other locations – from 2013 to June this year, providing software and modified routers to help people access foreign websites restricted in China, the report said.
Wu Xiangyang, from the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, was also fined 500,000 yuan (US$76,000) in Pingnan county for not holding the proper licence for his VPN business.
Wu's sentencing comes after Beijing announced a 14-month "clean-up" campaign in January to clamp down on unauthorised tools used to circumvent internet censorship.
Back in July, China ordered the three biggest telecommunication companies to completely block access to all VPNs not registered with authorities by February 2018. The move followed the tightening of internet censorship laws that requires all audiovisual content adhere to "core socialist values." Later that same month, Apple removed a number of popular VPNs from its App Store in China.
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