A man in China has been jailed a staggering five-and-a-half years for selling a VPN service without an appropriate license from the government. The man, from the Guangxi autonomous region, was also fined the equivalent of US$76,000 for supplying software and equipment to evade China’s Great Firewall.
Reports coming out of China indicate that another citizen has been caught up in the country’s VPN dragnet. The software developer reportedly set up a VPN for his own use but sensing demand, sold access to the service to third parties. Despite making just $164 from his business, he was arrested and detained for three days.
A man who sold VPN software via a website has been sentenced to nine months in prison by a Chinese court. The decision, handed down earlier this year but only just made public, notes that the software supplied by the man allowed the public to circumvent China’s Great Firewall while granting access to foreign websites.
Apple has started to ban VPN applications from its iOS store in China. According to the company, these apps include content that’s illegal in the country, thereby violating Apple’s policies. Needless to say, VPN providers and users are not happy with the privacy-obstructing censorship efforts.
Following a report that Chinese authorities had ordered state-owned ISPs to block VPNs, the government has published a statement. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said no such notice had been issued and ”legitimate access” to the global Internet, by businesses and general users, will be permitted.