Feeds

Communist party boss blames Kunming knife attack on VPNs

Because The Great Firewall can save China from terrorists ... and unicorns

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Communist Party’s chief official in western China’s Xinjiang region has blamed online videos and virtual private networks (VPNs) for the knife attack at Kunming station last week that left 29 dead and dozens injured.

Speaking during a meeting at the annual National People’s Congress in Beijing last week, Zhang Chunxian claimed that this “terrorist” attack in the capital of Yunnan province as well as other recent outbursts of violence by ethnic Uighurs in the frontier region, was due to “the fast spread of informatisation”.

“By that I mean, 90 per cent of terrorism in Xinjiang comes from jumping the wall. Violence and terrorism keep happening due to the videos on the internet,” he added, according to the FT.

“Jumping the wall” is commonly used to describe the use of tools, usually VPNs, to bypass the Great Firewall, China’s comprehensive web censorship apparatus.

For many businesses and individuals in China, VPNs a lifeline to the unfettered internet, where they can reach the likes of Gmail, Facebook, Twitter with no fear of monitoring or disruption.

A cat-and-mouse game between the authorities and VPN users has been playing out for years in China, most recently resulting in tweaks to the Great Firewall at the close of 2012 which ended up blocking several VPN protocols.

Given the extent and sophistication of China’s censorship apparatus it’s no surprise that the country was among the top five in a recent study of global VPN usage by Global Web Index, although India, Vietnam and Thailand ranked higher.

The internet is often blamed by Beijing for endangering the harmony of the Middle Kingdom and allowing the seeding of propaganda by “hostile foreign forces”.

In 2009, for example, the authorities cut access altogether in Xinjiang after rioting there by ethnic Uighurs led to the deaths of hundreds of Han Chinese. That blackout lasted for nearly a whole year. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.