Egypt this week introduced unexpected blocks against the websites of 5 of the most well-known VPN services in the industry. It should come as no surprise that 4 out of the 5 of the blocked sites offer completely free (albeit with restrictions) VPN services and are likely to be some of the most utilised across the region due to the fact they cost nothing.
The move follows similar blocks which saw over 21 news sites blocked at the end of May. The latest round of blocks suggest that the Egyptian authorities are not giving up when it comes to online censorship.
Up until now websites blocked included those which they deemed to be spreading “fake news” or that “promoted terrorism”. This can be translated to an attempt to block any news that goes against the will of the government.
The new round of blocks is more worrisome due to the fact that the government are now targeting services that can be used for a number of reasons including protecting online privacy or even something as basic as accessing region restricted content.
TigerVPN founder Sebastian Scherl put the targeting of their service down to the fact that they “also provide a free plan (within our apps)” going on to suggest it “may be related to the growing popularity of our service.”
Scherl said “It is regrettable that some customers in Egypt experience difficulties accessing our service.” and that “It goes without saying that we are already working on multiple solutions especially in our apps to provide some workaround to these blocks and we are committed to continue the fight that we started in 2011 to provide an open Internet access for anyone, anywhere.”