China blames terrorism on technologies to bypass Internet censorship

China has been stepping up control of the Internet, citing threats to national stability

China is blaming technology used to bypass China's censorship systems for recent terrorist attacks, suggesting that the government is considering tighter controls on the country's Internet.

Domestic terrorists from the nation's western region are circumventing China's online censors to view blocked videos on terrorism, according to a top Chinese official.

The official, Zhang Chunxian, made the comment after a group of knife-wielding attackers killed 29 civilians earlier this month at a local train station in Kunming, China. The government has blamed the killings on separatists from Xinjiang, a Chinese autonomous region where ethnic violence has broken out before.

Zhang, who is party secretary of Xinjiang, suggested that virtual private networks (VPNs) -- services that allow Chinese Internet users to visit blocked sites -- had a role in fueling the violence.

"Right now, 90 percent of Xinjiang's terrorism is the result of jumping the wall, and following online videos to create terrorism," he said while speaking with journalists. A video of his comments was later broadcast.

China has long tried to filter out anti-government content, and blocked U.S. sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. But jumping China's Great Firewall isn't hard. Internet users willing to pay US$10 or less a month can often buy access to a virtual private network (VPN).

So far, China has yet to clamp down on VPN use, and only rarely blocked access to them. In March 2011, several VPN providers reported service problems in China, at a time when censors were trying to stamp out references to the pro-democracy "Jasmine Revolution" protests in many countries.

Lately, however, the government has been calling for greater control of the Internet. In November, China said it wanted to tighten its grip over local social networking services, citing threats to national stability.

Authorities have also regularly waged campaigns to clean up so-called rumors on Sina-Weibo, a Twitter-like service. Following the knife attack in Kunming, China's public security bureau said it had arrested 45 people for allegedly spreading false online information about other impending terrorist attacks.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags regulationgovernmentinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?