25 Million People Are Circumventing the Censorship with Help of A Turkish Women Leader

Image TurkofAmerica - The Virtual Private Network (VPN), which has gained attention when the social media sites got banned, is being used by millions of people in the world today. With the work of companies that produce tunnel technologies for certain banned websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, access is made possible without the recognition of the IP address. Especially in Tunisia and Egypt during the Arab Spring, millions of people accessed the banned sites Twitter and Facebook by using this tunnel technology. And, actually, companies that enabled the breach of this ban gave a pathway to the Arab Spring. Lately in Turkey, as well, the banned site Youtube is being accessed through this technology. The ban on Twitter was also breached through the same technology. Today, around 600 million people are still facing internet bans. One of the sub-branches of the Mountain View, CA-centered VPN company is AnchorFree. Along with the founders of the company, which is also the owner of the HotSpotShield product, David Gorodyansky and Eugene Malobrodsky, a Turkish women entrepreneur, Bağlan Nurhan Rhymes, is the major shareholder.
AnchorFree, which was established in November 2005, received a series C investment in the amount of 6 million dollars in 2006, 4.8 in 2008 and 52 million from Goldman Sachs recently. Around 20 million people in the world, with 2 million of them in Turkey, use the technology of this firm, which has 70 employees.

Rhymes, who has a MS on Economics from Dokuz Eylul University and an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon, states that since they offer free download options, they have an advantage compared to other competitors. Currently, there are about 12 firms offering tunnel technology for desktops and 15 for mobile devices.

Pointing out that they sometimes face difficulties with Governments and Government Agencies, who desire to have access to the users’ information, Rhymes says they never keep any personal information in their databases, so, they do not have to share anything. She adds, “We spend more money in order not to keep any user information on our server. Although it is normally less costly to keep such information, we spend this extra money to show our customers that we value their security.”
In addition to the US, the firm also has another office in Switzerland. Having served as the vice president of the marketing firm LSF Interactive and structured its marketing department prior to her experience at AnchorFree, Rhymes says that they are preferred not only by those who want to access banned sites but also by those who cannot access other countries’ broadcasts due to political issues. For example, those who can’t watch the British BBC channel in Ireland use the AnchorFree service.

Their service is not solely used in countries where social media is banned. Users prefer this service also when they don’t want their location to be known.

Regarding the Egypt or Tunisian experience, Rhymes notes that they are not the reason for the revolution but they served as a mediator in making people’s voices heard. The majority of the AnchorFree users consist of people in the USA and Muslim countries, such as Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan.

In the company that has 70 employees.  In addition to Rhymes, there is another Turk, Levent Sapçı, who is the head of the marketing department.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07