Soft­ware en­gi­neer de­tained 3 days for sell­ing VPN ser­vice

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA -

A Jiangsu IT en­gi­neer has been de­tained for three days for sell­ing Vir­tual Pri­vate Net­work (VPN) ser­vices as China cracks down on online cross-bor­der op­er­a­tions without ap­proval.

Po­lice busted the sus­pect, sur­named Zhao, who claimed to work in an In­ter­net com­pany as a soft­ware de­vel­oper, on Au­gust 21, Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

Zhao, from Nan­jing, cap­i­tal of East China’s Jiangsu Prov­ince, con­fessed that at the very be­gin­ning, he set up a VPN ac­count to help him­self read over­seas in­for­ma­tion. Smelling a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity, he de­cided to sell VPN ser­vices for profit.

Zhao said since June he had sold the ser­vice at 10 yuan ($1.50) for a month, 50 yuan for six months, 90 yuan for a year and 120 yuan for two years without gov­ern­ment ap­proval. Po­lice said that he amassed a to­tal 1,080 yuan, ac­cord­ing to the Xin­hua report.

Based on China’s Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Law, which came into ef­fect on June 1, Nan­jing po­lice de­tained Zhao for three days and con­fis­cated all his il­le­gal in­come.

Zhao’s case is not iso­lated. Ac­cord­ing to a court doc­u­ment posted on the of­fi­cial web­site of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Court in March, Deng Jiewei, a 26-year-old man from Dong­guan, Guang­dong Prov­ince, was sen­tenced to nine months’ jail with an ad­di­tional 5,000 yuan fine for pro­vid­ing soft­ware and tools to in­vade and il­le­gally con­trol the com­puter in­for­ma­tion sys­tem.

The doc­u­ment said that Deng had been sell­ing two VPNs via his web­site since Oc­to­ber 2015 which al­lowed In­ter­net users to visit for­eign web­sites that could not be ac­cessed in the Chi­nese main­land. He and his part­ner made nearly 14,000 yuan sell­ing the soft­ware.

Ac­cord­ing to a Jan­uary reg­u­la­tion is­sued by the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, all ba­sic telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion firms and In­ter­net ac­cess ser­vice providers are barred from set­ting up or rent­ing special lines in­clud­ing VPNs to carry out cross-bor­der op­er­a­tions, un­less author­i­ties grant them an ap­proval.

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