Internet users in China who use virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent the country’s Internet censorship system, known as the “Great Firewall,” found the services blocked or only intermittently available Friday, in what analysts see as part of an increasingly vigorous online censorship campaign in the country.

Users of many VPN services in the country reported difficulty accessing the services Friday. The popular service Golden Frog posted an update on its blog confirming that users were experiencing problems.

China blocks a large number of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, and those that the authorities deem to contain politically sensitive material, such as information about the 1989 Tiananmen Square killings, or unflattering news stories about Chinese government figures. The websites of several Western news outlets, including the New York Times and BBC have also been blocked at times.

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