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Many popular internet sites are blocked for users of the state network in China — Google, YouTube and more. Some users, many of them business users, employ a VPN, a virtual personal network, to get around that “Great Firewall.” In a crackdown on unregistered VPNs, China has persuaded Apple to pull all major VPN services from its Chinese app store. Then, there’s news Russia has passed a law that bans VPNs as well. Limiting access to an open internet has major implications for businesses trying to work overseas. Whether they’re trying to share specs for products or just communicate with foreign staff, internet-based tools are necessary for much of the business world, and bars to access are bars to commerce.

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Follow Andy Uhler at @andy_uhler