China Allegedly Shutting Down Phone Networks of VPN Users

China is continuing its tirade against VPN users by cutting off mobile phone networks in the region of Xinjiang.

The New York Times reports that police services have been growing more agitated with the use of foreign messaging services since the Paris attacks on November 13 and have been trying to crack down on people that are using tools like VPNs to hop over geo-restricting measures.

The Times spoke with a number of residents, on the condition of anonymity, about their experiences of getting shut off from their network or being unable to access their apps.

One person revealed a text message she had received that reads: “Due to police notice, we will shut down your cellphone number within the next two hours in accordance with the law.”

“If you have any questions, please consult the cyberpolice affiliated with the police station in your vicinity as soon as possible.”

When she contacted the authorities, she was told that she was shut off because she was either using a VPN or accessing encrypted messaging apps like Telegram.

The news may not come as much of a surprise as Xinjiang has allegedly been a testing ground for many years for Internet surveillance and censorship tools.

Across China there have been concerted efforts to crack down on VPNs. Just this year, VPN providers like Astrill and StrongVPN reported blocks on their software in the country.