Online Access Tools, or virtual private networks (VPNs) like Hola are an incredibly valuable tool during geopolitical upheaval. For example, Iran has seen a 3000% increase in VPN usage across the board during the country’s Women, Life, Freedom protests, as the Iranian government brutally cracks down on its citizenry and severely restricts their online access as a means of control.
Bypassing restrictions and internet censorship in these cases can make the difference between life and death, or knowing whether your loved ones are safe. Governments block access to certain websites or social media platforms in order to control the spread of basic, reliable information.
Hola’s reason for existing is to help users access these blocked sites. We create technology which allows users to access news and information from a variety of trusted sources, rather than being limited to only the information that their authoritarian government wants them to see - indeed, being locked into their government’s growing Splinternet.
Our mission to create a truly borderless internet is advancing at pace, we see it in the feedback we receive from Hola’s users across the globe, in particular from countries where access is being restricted by authoritarian governments.
Democracy must live both online and offline. To this, we remain more committed than ever.
There is a serious threat to world freedom. The authoritarian enemies of true democracy, where human rights are upheld and everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law, are stepping up their attacks all around the world. This is happening both online and offline according to Freedom House’s thorough reporting on the subject.
Tech companies across the board have the opportunity to make a real difference. It’s easy to see how companies that operate online, in the cloud or simply, on the World Wide Web in any way, have the ability to positively impact and help the lives of those who need it most.
At Hola, we will continue being an open gateway to Access Global Online Information - our mission is more critical than ever.