Up to a billion people using the internet in developing countries are ignored by web statistics, which focus on US-based servers and ignore mobile-only users and shared devices, says a new study. The result is a form of digital imperialism, says a new study by Global Web Index (GWI), a digital measurement company which provides information to a wide range of some of the webs largest advertisers and brands such as Twitter. Because those users either don't show up, or are believed to be in mature economies, they aren't targeted for advertising - or the brand-building that is important to establish companies.
The Global Times newspaper in Beijing reported that China announced it is "upgrading" its Internet censorship to disrupt VPN services inside the nation of 1.3 billion people. The Great Firewall of China has long blocked those within the country from reaching popular international sites such as Google, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. To get around it, people must purchase access to a virtual private network, or VPN. These services allow a user to create a private pipeline to the Internet, bypassing China's online censors.
Under Chinese law, companies and individuals that use VPN services are required to register with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, though few do. Astrill, one of the more popular VPN providers in China tweeted that "due to increased censorship in China," VPN usage on Apple devices was being blocked "in almost real-time."
A number of the most popular foreign virtual-private networks, also known as VPNs, which give users access to the unfiltered internet in China, were no longer accessible on the Apple app store there.
This weekend Apple took a dispiriting step in the policing of its Chinese mainland App store: the company removed several Virtual Private Network (VPN) applications that allowed users to circumvent the China’s extensive internet censorship apparatus. In effect, the company has once again aided the Chinese government in its censorship campaign against its own citizens.
A Chinese man running a small-scale website on which he sold VPN software has been sentenced to 9 months in prison.