OH DEAR, SOME POOR BASTARD has been arrested in China for developing and selling Virtual Private Network (VPN) software and making a huge $164 for his troubles.
We read about this on TorrentFreak, naturally, and were instantly saddened. China has a big thing going on about personal privacy and unmolested internet communications and has a big net around that kind of stuff.
The Chinese government made the use of VPNs illegal in January in a bid to stop people from evading its web surveillance and censorship. It is hard to keep a snake in a bag though, and people have looked to ignore this.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is the one behind all this, as well as plans to make sure that any technology company that wants to operate in China looks like a Chinese company and walks like a Chinese company.
"China's internet connection service market… has signs of disordered development that requires urgent regulation and governance," said a spokesman back then to some global concern.
A chap called Zhao from Nanjing, was arrested August 21, according to TorrentFreak, and was in chokey for three days. Something else may happen to him because China has already jailed someone for nine months for selling such stuff.
Although we reported on a blanket VPN ban in January, China circled back to the problem later in the year and said that it would only be looking to ban those that do not comply with official standards.
Apple was criticised after it acted to remove such applications from the Chinese version of the App Store.
"We are troubled to see Apple aiding China's censorship efforts. ExpressVPN strongly condemns these measures, which threaten free speech and civil liberties," said one put out provider.
Apple said it was just following orders. "We have been required to remove some VPN apps in China that do not meet the new regulations," said the firm. "These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business." µ
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