China has just made The Great Firewall much, much stronger - making the use of VPNs in the country illegal.
The use of VPNs and special cable connections throughout China now need government approval, which will see the use of VPN services illegal. Engadget reports that China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the new rules surrounding VPNs, calling them a "clean-up" of China's internet connections.
The Ministry ad ded that the new rules are live immediately, and will be in place until March 31, 2018. It was only in March 2016 that the country had a large-scale crackdown on VPNs, with The Washington Post adding that China's new VPN and cable regulations are "purposefully vague", adding that "experts on China's Internet said the notice seems to take aim at Chinese companies providing VPN services to individuals in China - and not, say, those helping multinational companies connect with their home office".
WaPo added some comments from Chinese tech blogger William Long, who said that new rules could increase the data gathered by Chinese VPN providers. Chinese technology companies are already storing the information, with WaPo saying that Long added: "unregistered upstarts providing low-cost VPN accounts on a small scale may now be forced to register and comply - a surefire way do discourage would-be connectors".