From March 31st China will ban the usage of all VPN services that are not approved by the government. What this will look like in real life is still unsure, but it might be a crucial punch in the face of people fighting for a free Internet in China.
For a long time, VPN connections have been the solution to a free Internet in China. Websites that are blocked for the common person, have been available if the same person used a VPN connection. Some VPN providers have been blocked from time to time, but they have mostly found ways to bypass the blocks in the Big Firewall of China. But, from March 31st we are promised stricter rules, and if China really wants to strangle unlicensed VPN providers, we believe they will manage to do so.
When Netflix started their big VPN ban at the start of 2016, they did not block and ban everyone at the same time. But, with time they have managed to block the IP addresses in use by at least95% of all VPN providers. There are still ways to get around the Netflix VPN ban, but they are not that frequent. But, if China takes the promised VPN ban seriously, we believe they will be able to strike the VPN companies and their products much harder than the Netflix ban. So, what will the future hold for the people yearning for a free Internet in China?
WTO (World Trade Organization) has expressed concerns that the Internet data restrictions might be illegal, but China doesn’t seem to care much about what other nations and people and organizations might think at this very moment
What will the future hold for the people yearning for a free Internet in China?
There will be VPN’s registered for use and allowed for use in China. But, we can be sure that if it is “registered” and “accepted” VPN providers available in China, then those will for sure only allow access to sites accepted and allowed to citizens in China in general. in other words, the VPN providers will not give you access to extras in China (the way they do it right now).
This will make it hard for the people of China to get access to all the information they want and need. News can only be read through “glasses” accepted by the Chinese government, and critical voices will for sure be stopped. Do the people of China have to say goodbye to western news and information?
Can a cryptocurrency be the solution?
Most people think of cryptocurrencies as something strange, distant, and very speculative. Few people think of it as something that has to do with real life and real usage. But, there is a cryptocurrency named Substratum which has a utility token carrying the same name, and this might, in fact, be one of the solutions that will help the people of China get access to the unedited Internet.
Substratum is still in the early beta-phase, but they have a product that they work at great speed, and they have said that they will do their uttermost to help the people of China surf the Internet without limitations, also after March 31st. What will Substratum do?
As Substratum will be released, the goal is to have nodes running on computers all across the world. The signals sent between the computers using the Substratum network and the nodes will look like normal signals, and therefore they will not be stopped by the Chinese Firewall. But, they will at the same time make it possible to bypass any limits set by the Chinese governments. So far we have only been able to read about and watch an early beta of Substratum at YouTube, but we are promised more updates in the near future.
So, maybe a cryptocurrency can be the solution for the Internet users in China? But, can such a service also turn into a major setback for the VPN providers who can no longer be used in China? And even worse, there will exist another product that does a better job unblocking the Internet, while the price of using it is way less?
What do you think?