Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS9, includes changes on how app developers use the virtual private network (VPN) protocols on Apple devices, meaning that mainland VPN users may be able to access blocked websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google more easily.
After Instagram was blocked in China amid Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, many Chinese internet users complained and urged VPN providers to find new ways to climb over the “Great Firewall”.
The deep packet inspection (DPI), which examines all data that is sent across the network, is the reason why VPN providers have been caught and blocked by censors. VPN providers have responded by added another layer of encryption to cover their traffic so they can creep through the “all-knowing” DPI.
Apple’s iOS9 has expanded on that, allowing more VPN protocols to have “first class support” in bypassing the firewall, according to a recent SCMP report.
Larry Salibra, founder and chief executive of Hong Kong-based software testing platform Pay4Bugs explains that “Before iOS 9, [Apple] only supported a few well known, standard VPN protocols in its built in app which are well known and easy for the GFW (Great Firewall) to detect, degrade and/or block.”
iOS9, which was released to app developers on Monday, will also feature animproved Siri, new multitasking features, more powerful built-in apps and a longer battery life.
[Image via Apple]
By Sharon Choi