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China practices shutting down what it deems are ‘harmful’ websites in censorship push

(Methodshop/Flickr)
August 08, 2017
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China held a joint drill last week with internet providers to practice shutting down websites that authorities deemed harmful.

According to analysts, China will be tightening controls in preparation for the 19th Party Congress, an important political meeting, taking place later this year.

The three-hour drill asked internet data centers and cloud companies to shut down targeted websites that were deemed “harmful.”

They were then asked to report details to the police, including their contact details, IP address and server location.

One of the participants in the drill is an operator for Microsoft’s cloud service in China, Reuters confirmed.

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President Xi Jinping ordered a tightening of data surveillance and censorship rules prior to the political meeting, which takes place every five years.

China has also been working to get companies to delete Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), which are used to bypass China’s “Great Firewall.” VPNs are used to browse blocked or banned websites by gaining internet access through an extended network.

In July, Apple deleted VPN apps from its app store in China, saying that it was forced to do so in compliance with China’s new regulations.

China also blocks access to several social media websites and apps including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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