China Is Cracking Down On VPNs (But Xinhua News Is Still Tweeting)

The continuing saga of China’s Great Firewall has taken another turn for the worse. VPNs formerly usable inside China proper to access sites like Facebook, Twitter, and certain web searches, have been hobbled by the Great Firewall and users are now scrambling to find alternate providers.

Services like StrongVPN are offering specific instructions for getting VPN access in China while many services like HideMyAss have reported few issues inside the country. The ultimate solution is port randomization – essentially sending traffic through odd ports not usually associated with VPN or web traffic.

Sadly, crackdowns like these hinder commerce, media, and reporting coming out of China and can even slow down sites (like this one) that use social media plugins.

In related news, Chinese Nationals are taking to their own microblogging services to complain about the Xinhua state news agency’s Twitter account, which has 8,000 followers and tweets out news from within China and, ironically, from foreign news sources.

Arguably hot news like this…

isn’t gaining them many followers but it’s ironic that China’s house organ has unfettered access to Twitter while Chinese users are limited to censored services like Wiebo. As MIC Gadget writes:

The Xinhua News Agency is the biggest center for collecting information and press conferences in China. Xinhua is subordinate to the State Council and reports to the Communist government. Xinhua is also responsible for censoring reports from foreign media destined to release in China. Xinhua is obviously breaching China’s internet laws, can anyone report this to the net-police?