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Surfshark joins forces with NetBlocks for greater reporting on internet freedom

In the light of increasing online censorship, cybersecurity company Surfshark is entering an exclusive partnership with internet's observatory and digital rights watchdog NetBlocks for greater reporting on internet shutdowns. During the partnership, both sides will support one another on the topics of internet freedom and mapping internet shutdowns in even greater detail. Companies report that over the past seven years, internet restrictions have affected every third country globally. In 2022 alone, the phenomenon has impacted the daily lives of almost 2 billion people worldwide, from Russia to Brazil.

"As a watchdog concerned with digital rights, cybersecurity, and internet governance, NetBlocks' interests align with ours, especially in researching online censorship. With internet disruptions happening ever more frequently, we have our work cut out for us. Surfshark strongly believes in this mission, and alongside being a VPN developer, reports on such issues constantly, touching on country-specific issues, wider trends in censorship, and producing deep reports on the subject", says Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark.

Through the partnership, both sides will share their expertise and best practices, supporting one another on the topics of internet restrictions. At the same time, it will empower them to talk in greater depth about the tools to counter it. For example, a VPN can overcome most measures such countries impose, be they IP (Internet Protocol), DNS (Domain Name System), or Deep Packet Inspection-based restrictions.

"Surfshark is a valuable ally and we're excited to step up our relationship together to reach more users in support of cybersecurity, internet freedom and fundamental human rights around the world. In times of crisis, enabling seamless communications can support media freedom, protect democracy, and save lives" says Alp Toker, CEO of NetBlocks.

In 2022 alone, internet restrictions harmed the daily lives of almost two billion people worldwide, affecting mainly those living in Asia and South America. In the first half of the year, there were at least 72 internet restrictions, out of which 85% were registered in India and the Jammu and Kashmir region. Overall, 10 countries have employed techniques of internet restrictions, with the most notable case currently developing in Russia. Most of the outages have been related to political or societal events such as elections, referendums, and protests.

Shutdowns targeting social media services have become an increasingly popular measure for oppressive regimes to control public sentiment and freedom of speech. The tendency to limit access to social media sites is especially prevalent in countries where state authorities own or control internet infrastructure. Such chokepoints enable authorities to rapidly deploy selective shutdowns to disrupt the anticipated movements of the democratic public.
Published Monday, August 01, 2022 12:52 PM by David Marshall
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