Iraq seems to have put a hold on all social media networks in the country, according to reports which are coming from the country. The free, independent newspaper Aliraqnet revealed that the Iraqi government had but a ban on the two most popular social media networks, Facebook, and Twitter. It also showed that the blockade was a measure the government was taking to try and stop its citizens from organizing any demonstrations about the corruption that is allegedly dogging the country at the moment.
As the need for a free web in the country rises, mist users in the Facebook and Twitter banned country have taken a leaf out of Chinese citizens who use VPNs to circumvent government restrictions. Most users in the country are turning to Hola, a popular VPN service in the industry. Stats show that around 100,000 users have moved to the VPN provider.
The government said that it was trying to stop the ISIS terrorist group from getting knowledge of the areas, the demonstrators were going to do the rallies. In so doing this prevents any attacks on the demonstrators during their rallies against the government. This might be a valid reason, but most of the times when actions based on the with the free will of citizens are taken, it usually leads to a basic rights censorship.
After the ban on the social media accounts in the country, the company received a massive rise in app downloads as users looked for ways to get back on their Internet life.
The CEO and co-founder to Hola, Ofer Vilenski said that he believed that access to any information was a basic human right, but governments did not value that and continued to restrict users access to it. He also went on to say that thanks to apps like Hola, users could regain this right that was theirs.
Hola saw a surge in its app downloads rather than other VPN services because of one major reason. The company’s peer to peer proxy technology makes it possible for the company to provide free VPN service for non-commercial use for users. And we all know everyone loves a free product.
Hola uses a P2P system that is very cheap, and so there are no underlying costs, unlike other services which usually rely on expensive servers. This sort of functionality is needed in countries where the average income of a household family would not permit for a ‘luxury’ such as a VPN, and Iraq seems to be one of those places. The Hola service lets users surf the Internet by going through other people’s computers when they are not in use.
The company was launched back in 2013 and has been used by close to 82 million people worldwide. Earlier this month, Vietnam citizens used the service to access Facebook from their country. Vietnam government had blocked the service because of plans by netizens to demonstrate against the government.