Hong Kong VPN searches spike. Here’s what it means.

Demand for VPN in Hong Kong increased tenfold following the Chinese government’s newly-proposed national security laws. Experts worry the security laws presented would jeopardize the freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong when it was handed over to China by the United Kingdom. Those freedoms include the right to protest, free media, and an independent judiciary system.

While the new national security law does not specifically address online freedom, the “Great Firewall” in mainland China heavily restricts the internet. Social media websites including Facebook and Twitter, and news publications like The New York Times cannot be accessed from mainland China.

Google, which monitors search trends shows search interest for the keyword “VPN” increased 500% for the week of May 17th – 23rd.

Why are Hong Kong citizens flocking to use a VPN?

A VPN conceals a user’s internet activity by encrypting all the data transmitted through the internet from their device. IPVanish has applications for both iOS, and Android, as well as macOS, and Windows, covering the requirements for most users.

Once the data is encrypted, it is transmitted through servers owned by the VPN provider. By re-routing the traffic through the VPN servers rather than directly to the requested website, the traffic is concealed, masking the user’s personal IP address. This allows users to continue to safely conduct their online activities, shielded from prying eyes. IPVanish maintains a network of more than 1,400 servers in 75+ locations, ensuring users always have a nearby location. 

How should Hong Kong citizens protect themselves?

While Hong Kong at this point continues to have a free and open internet, it’s best to be prepared. Those participating in the protests in Hong Kong should absolutely be using a VPN. Many protestors are already using a VPN, out of fear the Chinese Communist Party will obtain their personal information. In this case, it’s definitely a situation where it’s best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

As always at IPVanish, we operate a zero-log VPN service. We never track your online activities in any of our 75+ locations.

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