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China, Russia and Egypt—and why we're still fighting for internet freedom

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

13 September 2017

Last week, a leading human rights group in Egypt announced that the government had blocked access to its website, in what it called a “new attack” on free speech.

This follows the blocking over dozens of sites earlier in the year, including a number of news sites. The block also affected the use of VPNs, which are used worldwide to circumvent restrictive internet freedom laws and censorship.

But Egypt isn’t the only country to be moving yet further away from a free and open internet; earlier this month, China announced its intentions to further block the use of VPNs and other tools commonly used to get around the country’s “great firewall”, the system of strict online censorship. Russia have made similar moves this year, and these countries aren’t just the only ones censoring or restricting what their citizens can do online.

At the end of last year, the United Nations passed a resolution calling internet disruption a “human rights violation”—and yet still governments continue to pass these laws and create these news policies.

This is exactly why we continue to do what we do; to fight for a free and open internet, and to create tool that help people take their privacy and freedom back into their own hands.

Unfortunately, recent government actions including the ones above reveal a growing trend among nations either to protect economic interests through restrictive policies or force greater authority over peoples to ensure political gain. We proudly believe that the internet should remain open and free. SurfEasy continues to support organizations that defend internet rights.

Sadly, this current trend foreshadows more of the same if the tech community doesn’t show leadership by speaking out against repressive regimes and pressuring political leaders to protect fundamental internet freedoms.

We’re proud to be at the forefront of the fight for online privacy and freedom.

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