GlobalWebIndex reports that China’s campaign to crack down on VPNs will seriously disrupt the work of students, entrepreneurs and scientists.
China currently has around 100 million regular VPN users, around 14% of its population. VPNs are used to access the global Web, including such sites as Google, Twitter and Facebook or news websites like The New York Times, which are blocked in China.

When it comes to scientists or students, using a VPN is the most convenient way to access such Internet services as Dropbox or Google Scholar. Technically advanced people can still use alternative solutions – for example, the Shadowsocks proxy. It’s an open-source encrypted proxy that can be configured on any device to bypass government restrictions. However, this workaround is not very user-friendly, and its configuration might seem too complicated for most.

“We are observing the current situation with concern,” says Marty P. Kamden, CMO of NordVPN. “Our VPN stands for freedom of Internet, where freedom is not defined only by the free speech, but also the freedom to do business, to study or to do scientific research. The whole economy of China, its scientific achievements and the education of an entire generation may start lagging behind should VPNs become outlawed.”

A VPN service encrypts all the traffic flow between the Internet and a user’s device. Further, it can prevent tracking software and governments from monitoring user’s Internet activity and helps hide their IP address.