China closes Internet loophole and forces Internet users to give their real names

China is famous for censoring the Internet with one of the largest nationwide firewalls in the world. China's firewall is called the Great Firewall of China and many Chinese citizens have used loopholes in the system to get access to unfiltered news from outside the country and blocked websites such as Gmail and others. This loophole was exploited by Chinese citizens by accessing foreign VPNs to be able to access block sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and others.

Chinese authorities have known of this loophole and have only now chosen to crack down on it. The crackdown is believed to be part of a wider campaign by China to exert more control over Internet access in the country. VPN businesses in China are illegal unless they are registered with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Commercial VPN services are having trouble operating as they normally operate in China recently. Users are saying that access is often denied or crashes after using the VPN for a short time. Some experts believe that China has found a way to identify encrypted Web use and block proxy servers for those users.

While China is attacking VPN use it is also tightening control over users in China after recently making it legal to delete posts or pages that are deemed to contain illegal information. China also has new regulations that would acquire Internet users to register with their real names when signing up with network providers. China maintains that tight control over the Internet is required to keep people from making malicious and anonymous accusations online, sharing pornography, and starting unfounded rumors.

[via Reuters and [via LA Times]