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Science suffers as China plugs holes in Great Firewall

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Science  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6354, pp. 856
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6354.856

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China is tightening the screws on internet access, again. The latest crackdown—an evolving effort to ban virtual private networks (VPNs) not under government control—could seriously erode scientists' ability to stay connected with peers abroad. China's Great Firewall routes virtually all incoming international internet traffic through a handful of access points, where government servers block access to blacklisted domain names and internet protocol addresses. Blocked sites include Google Scholar, Google Docs, and Dropbox. Many scientists in China routinely bypass the Great Firewall using VPN software that routes traffic through foreign servers. The central government had long tolerated VPNs, but these are now in the crosshairs.