The VPN company has partnered with NGOs to give away 20,000 accounts

TunnelBear has today partnered with four Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to campaign against censorship threats which have impacted communities and activists across the world since the COVID-19 pandemic and global protests. In total, twenty thousand free VPN accounts have been distributed to these organizations which include Access Now, Frontline Defenders, Internews, and one other undisclosed participant.

This unique and timely program aims to empower individuals and organizations with the tools they need to browse a safe and open internet environment, regardless of where they live. The VPN provider is encouraging other NGOs or media organizations across the world to reach out if they too are in need of support.

“At TunnelBear, we strongly believe in an open and uncensored internet. Whenever we can use our technology to help people towards that end, we will.” Said TunnelBear Cofounder Ryan Dochuk.

He continued, “We also understand that the protests happening all over the world mean that safe digital spaces are now more important than ever. We are happy to provide these accounts to human rights defenders at no cost to them.”

TunnelBear encrypts its user’s internet traffic to enable a private and censor-free browsing experience.

"Access Now's Helpline provides incident response assistance and direct technical support on digital safety to at-risk users from civil society across the globe. We always advise our constituents to think critically about their security, and to pick the tools and services that best respond to their specific needs. When it comes to VPNs, trust is key.

Tunnelbear's approach to security —including annual security audits, easy to read privacy policy and regular transparency reports— provides a solid foundation to cultivate trust." Said a Spokesperson for Access Now.

"By undergoing and releasing independent audits of their systems, adopting open source tools, and collaborating with the open source community, TunnelBear has proven itself to be an industry leader in the VPN space and a valuable private sector partner within the internet freedom movement. Internews is happy to support TunnelBear in extending its VPN service to the media organizations, journalists, activists, and human rights defenders around the globe who can benefit from it." Said Jon Camfield, Director of Global Technology Strategy at Internews.

TunnelBear has so far given away a total of 20,000 accounts, and is open to requests from organizations who can help their networks with free secure internet. Visit this webpage for more information and to submit a request for support.

This program marks the beginning of a company-wide initiative to combat online censorship, stay tuned for what’s next.

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