This document, translated below, was making the social media rounds today, and given the recent interest in possible actions against VPNs, we have decided to translate it, but cannot vouch for its authenticity. It appears to be a letter from an ISP, informing clients that they will need to assist in cleaning up/blocking VPN access following an order from the Ministry of Public Security, followed by the content of the original notice.
One note on the translation, it is interesting that 翻墙软件 (wall-scaling software) is used throughout for software used to circumvent the Great Firewall. This term is in wide use, but is not really a formal technical term like VPN, proxy, etc. We have translated it here as ‘circumvention software’.
Re: The Ministry of Security's Notification on Cleaning Up Proxy Software
Dear Valued Customer:
Hello! Our company has received an urgent notice requesting that we immediately carry out a cleaning up of all types of software for accessing blocked sites, deleting it and making it unavailable. In addition to the software listed in the notice (freegate, Ultrasurf, Lantern, Psiphon, Squidproxy, etc.), we also need to clean up and delete circumvention software such as “shadowsocks”, and promptly close down websites providing VPN services. The Ministry of Public Security Network Security Squad will investigate and address websites that do not cooperate or whose enforcement is lax and incomplete.
We ask that your company immediately organize a special force for searching, verification, and sorting; and quickly carry out clean up, deletion, and removal efforts. Please contrast the Ministry of Public Security's new key words in cleaning up (VPN, Psiphon, 赛风，Lantern, 蓝灯, 影梭、Shadowsocks、 Freegate、Ultrasurf). Please respond by noon on July 18, and tell us how your company's work is progressing (whether relevant software exists, whether software was made unavailable and how much, whether the key words were set up, whether web pages and information on encrypted proxies or specialized routing equipment were cleaned up and how much).
We ask your company to place great importance on this, and to complete all efforts on cleaning up all types of circumvention software as quickly as possible.
Notice is hereby given!
Guangzhou HOTWON Computer LLC
Attached: The content of the original notice by the Ministry of Public Security
In accordance with the requirements of the Ministry of Public Securities Emergency Deployment and the spirit of the Corps leadership's directions, each public security sub-bureau's department of network security is to please immediately organize and carry out a clean up, deletion, and removal of circumvention software; thoroughly completing the follow work:
- Focusing on circumvention tools developed by hostile foreign forces such as Freegate, Ultra, Lantern, Psiphon, and Squidproxy, make deployments for the work of cleaning up, deleting, and removing access to software download sites and APP distribution platforms, etc. The Ministry of Public Security informs you that this type of information is prominent on software download sites, especially download sites such as Zhongguancun Online, the Pacific Download Center, and Onlinedown.net.
- Immediately make deployments to remove Apps with circumvention functions such as Psiphon from distribution platforms.
- Deploy local sites and search engines to immediately clean up relevant promotional information, advertising information, or popup information, including handling of search keywords (including banned search keywords, associated keywords, recommended keywords, etc.).
- Clean up online webpages or information related to encrypted proxy services, dedicated routing devices (with built-in circumvention functions) and so forth.