Chinese Man To serve 5 Years In Prison For Running Illegal VPN Service




 In a crack-down on illegal sale and use of VPN services to help circumvent the great firewall, the Chinese authorities have sentenced a man to 5-and-a-half years in prison for selling a VPN service without a proper license from the authorities.

 To have full control and monitoring of its cyberspace, the Chinese government early this year (2017) placed a ban on unauthorised VPN services in the country, making it compulsory for companies to obtain a license from the government in order to operate.

 The Chinese 'Great Firewall' blocks citizens from accessing popular websites such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, The Pirate Bay, Google etc. To get access to such websites, citizens employ the use of a VPN service which encrypt their connection and help in bypassing the country's firewall. The VPN usually hide their data, activity and then give an anonymous (fake location) so as to help prevent tracking.

Xiangyang, a Chinese citizen from the Guangxi Zhuang region was arrested and fined 500,00 yuan ($76,000) for offering a non-licensed VPN service from 2013 to June 2017, helping users to bypass the Great Firewall. He was also accused of generating 792,638 yuan ($120,000) illegal revenue. 

 Another citizen, Deng Jiewei was also sentenced to 9 months in prison and fined 5,000 yuan for selling VPN services without proper license.

January this year, the Chinese government announced a 14-month long campaign project to crack down on unauthorised sell and use of VPN services in the country. 

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