China controls network connections

Internet controls continue – see widely reported rules notice for the new year:

4.违规开展跨境业务问题。未经电信主管部门批准,不得自行建立或租用专线(含虚拟专用网络VPN)等其他信道开展跨境经营活动。基础电信企业向用户出租的国际专线,应集中建立用户档案,向用户明确使用用途仅供其内部办公专用,不得用于连接境内外的数据中心或业务平台开展电信业务经营活动。

… all leased-line and VPN requiring approval from the authorities, corporate VPN only to allow users to access remote files, not to connect datacenters…

Most of this is not new – already implemented for example by Amazon WebServices:  it is not permitted to create a connection between a China AWS datacenter and a non-China AWS datacenter – and compliant corporates already route internet connections via China infrastructure and monitoring rather than their own global network.

Update:  Luo Fuhe, vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) actually spoke up about this at the CPCC, an unusually bold move:
http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/04/senior-chinese-official-publicly-challenges-chinas-extensive-internet-censorship/

 

With regard to the comment “it can take over 30 minutes to visit the websites of some universities”, this normally happens because the website in question has a dependency on a reference to googleapis.com or other blocked Content Distribution Network for certain scripts and can be avoided be using another CDN.

However, when reporting this type of issue, the entities in question are often unconcerned and regard it as a problem to be solved by China or by China’s citizens appealing for the unblocking of the relevant resource.  So far however there doesn’t seem to be a clear appeals procedure to allow this to happen.

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