New Chinese government efforts to counter encryption methods that many Chinese use to evade government cyber monitoring and controls probably reflect the government’s efforts to counter dissents and spy on Western companies in China. Although these new measures represent improvements in the government’s technical capabilities, many dissidents will find new ways around the government’s new internet controls.
Chinese dissidents and activists have long played a cat-and-mouse with the government over internet access and controls. Dissidents in restricted regions like Tibet have overcome aggressive cyber censoring to post videos of brutality by security forces. Stepped-up efforts by the government over the last year to prevent the spread of information about purged Chinese Communist Party members and last October’s Chinese Communist Party Congress largely failed due to the ingenuity of Chinese citizen cyber hackers. Government moves against virtual private networks (VPNs) – a principal method used in China to bypass cyber controls and monitoring – is the latest effort by Beijing to get control of the Internet.
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