China held a drill with internet service providers to practice cracking down websites that are deemed harmful as the country prepares for a sensitive five-year political reshuffle set to take place later this year. Internet data centers (IDC) and cloud companies host website servers and were ordered to participate in a three-hour drill to improve their emergency response skills, 4 participants of which included the operator of Microsoft’s cloud service in the country.
The drill was called by China’s Ministry of Public Security in order to step up online security for the 19th Party Congress and to tackle smaller websites that illegally disseminate harmful information. Internet data centers would practice shutting down target web pages at a fast rate and would report relevant details to the police, including the affected websites’ contact details, IP address, and server location.
China’s cyberspace controls have been strengthened including tough new data surveillance and censorship rules. The country also has been cracking down on the usage of VPN’s to bypass internet censorship with the help of state owned telecommunication service providers to upgrade it.