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[liberationtech] Fwd: There is an app for online freedom - Hotspot Shield

Evgeny Morozov evgeny.morozov at
Thu Feb 17 17:24:10 PST 2011

I thought I'd share this email with the list - if only to highlight the
aggressive PR efforts of some of the "Internet freedom warriors". I guess
unless the Tor folks are prepared to hire a PR firm, it will be a tough

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sara Suddes <ssuddes at>
Date: Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Subject: There is an app for online freedom - Hotspot Shield
To: evgeny.morozov at

Hi Evgeny,

Caught today's story, "America's Internet Freedom
and really enjoyed your nuanced commentary on Hillary Clinton's speech. I'm
writing because the following paragraph caught my eye:

*While it's wonderful that so many young activists can use the Web for
protest, the reality is that in all too many cases they will be using it to
fight against the very dictators that the US has supported for decades. *

With all the talk of Internet freedom in the news, and the disconnect
between what government leaders are saying versus what they're doing when it
comes to that topic, I wanted to let you know about a company I work with
called AnchorFree. AnchorFree's free VPN, Hotspot
Shield,<>has and is allowing young activists
to address censorship issues head on,
rather than waiting for our government or theirs to lift the blanket of

Clinton said that "there's no 'app'" for online freedom, but she's wrong.
Hotspot Shield is already used by millions around the world to circumvent

A little background on Hotspot Shield:

1. It's free
2. It helps users bypass firewalls and access online content that's been
3. It has about *10 million monthly users worldwide*
4. *During the social network blockade in Egypt, traffic on Hotspot Shield
surged to 10 times its average amount in Egypt: from 100,000 users to one
million. *Traffic subsequently plummeted once the government initiated a
five-day Internet blackout on 1/27
5. However, during the blackout, many Egyptians plugged in their old dial-up
modems and turned on HSS to continue accessing Internet content while
remaining anonymous
5. HSS saw heavy usage during the last Iranian election protests, as
protesters went online to rally the numbers needed to protest a totalitarian

I think some of these tools that enable Internet freedom and access to
information are making a huge impact China, Egypt, Iran and other countries
where online content is heavily censored. I wasn't sure if you planned to
write more on this topic but, if so, I'd love to put you in touch with the
company's CEO or provide you with more info if you'd like. Please let me
know how I can help.

Sara Suddes | LaunchSquad | 415.625.8555
*116* New Montgomery St, Suite 620. San Francisco, CA 94105
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