Censored Internet Leads to VPN Use

America has recently gotten a taste of what it’s like to live in a country where citizens are afraid to use the internet. The reactions of netizens to government spying are much the same as have come from China, Iran, and most recently, Turkey. VPN technology is not new in the US, but is not as popular as it has been in countries that practice internet censorship. It is interesting to see how increased VPN use comes as a result of both increased government monitoring and increased regulation of internet use.

Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister RecepYayyipErdogan has had a very trying past few weeks dealing with mass protests against his move to block social media sites and applications. Early in June he called social media the worst menace to society. After battling continued protests organized through Twitter and Zello, he followed this up with a comment on the limits of his patience. This only served to increase the efforts of Turkish activists, who perceived this as another threat to their freedom.The spike in VPN downloads is greatly attributed to preparations for a digital blockade and protection against the government monitoring that goes hand in hand with internet censorship.

Iran

In Iran, the VPN craze is beginning to abate. Internet freedom protesters have successfully spread the word and many are now surfing under a VPN shield. In the weeks before the Iran elections, the government stepped up their fight against VPNs. They have been testing ways to block VPN services, but have run up against a major problem. Many businesses and organizations like embassies and banks rely heavily on VPNs for security and access, especially in countries with censored internet. The Iran blocks have caused operations to slow or cease for many of these entities. The government is now simultaneously trying to block unwanted VPN use while allowing official access to those who register with them.

China

Similar behavior has been seen in China, where the government has succeeded in blocking a large number of internet services and applications. But the public continues to search for workarounds to the bans, and has in part greatly succeeded. Personal VPNs remain popular in China, regardless of government threats of fines and imprisonment for repeat offenders. VPNs are used in China for a variety of purposes. Some individuals use them to access their favorite social media and online television services, and others use them to report police violence and other politically sensitive activities. Whatever their purpose, they have persevered this far in finding ways to circumvent internet censorship.

Censored Internet

Common Factors

A common thread runs through all these incidents of restriction, monitoring and protest. Internet users repeatedly to refuse to comply with constraints placed on their internet freedom, and continually protest any attempts to do so. They persistently search for ways to protect themselves from government surveillance and to carry on enjoying the freedoms they feel entitled to. VPN services have continued to serve their needs, with providers and independent techies working to further improve their capabilities as restrictions grow tighter and monitoring technology gets more sophisticated.

For more information on popular VPN services that have been used to gain access and escape surveillance, see our top VPN services page.

Rank Provider Name Starting Price Money Back Guarantee
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2 IPVanish $10.00/month 7 Days visit ipvanish
3 Hidemyass $11.52/month 30 Days visit expressvpn
4 VyprVPN $10.00/month 7 Days visit vyprvpn
5 StrongVPN $21/ 3 months 7 Days visit strongvpn
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