On Pincong, an online Chinese community famous for its outspoken users who use a VPN to access the site and discuss controversial topics, such as when the ruling Communist party might be overthrown, other strategies for beating digital surveillance are also shared.

Tips include avoiding using China-based email addresses to register for websites like Twitter or YouTube, as it appears to be much easier for police to obtain personal data from Chinese companies than from Western companies like Google, as well as avoid using domestic mobile phone keyboard apps, which have also been suspected of monitoring users (link in Chinese). 

Others suggest (link in Chinese) using Apple’s iPhone over Android phones produced in China, which some believe have given backdoors to the government to monitor the phone’s owners. Another tip is to be sure to use different user names for different web services.

Beyond all this, some argue the safest strategy for now for people in China is to stay quiet in real life.

“Don’t leak your political views or tendencies to people around you recklessly. Being reported to the authorities is not a low probability event these days,” Pincong user Jia Zhu Ye Hua recently wrote.

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