Leading VPN provider launches controversial billboard campaign to highlight the need of online privacy.
I chose to go after Russia because there have been too many murders of people who are questioning the conflict in Ukraine and the political ideas of the Kremlin.
Since the 13th of December, billboards with the bold message “Talk about Russian politics online without being the victim of an accident” have begun sprouting up all over London.
The ad, created in collaboration with the creative firm Spellcaster, aims to increase the number of individuals using a virtual private network (VPN) because of its importance in maintaining personal security.
1/2 We have launched a brand-new #billboard campaign across #London. We want to speak up and empower others to do so, and we hope these billboards will do that. pic.twitter.com/zqEGyB9bRvDecember 12, 2022
“The right to free expression is under danger”
“Our primary goal was to educate people about the dangers of the internet and its potential offline effects. It may be a matter of life and death in certain situations “He [Sebastian Schaub, CEO of Hide.me] told TechRadar.
A number of Russian billionaires and other individuals who publicly criticised Putin’s activities online disappeared during the invasion of Ukraine.
Schaub said that people should be able to use the internet without fear of reprisal or retaliation. “Free expression is under danger, and services like VPNs are increasingly vital for customers,” one expert says.
With over 25 million customers across its free VPN and subscription service, Hide.me has been around for 10 years with the goal of letting as many people as possible surf the web freely and securely.
A virtual private network (VPN) is a service that masks an individual’s location while encrypting all outbound traffic. As a result, they’ll be able to easily protect themselves online and avoid restrictions.
In light of the growing popularity of anti-virus and other forms of online protection software, using a VPN is more important than ever for those who are subject to censorship or monitoring online.
The number of Russian citizens using virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass government censorship and maintain their online privacy has increased dramatically since the conflict broke out.
This was unfortunately not an outlier occurrence
There were innumerable events last year, from wars to riots, that prompted people all around the globe to turn to virtual private networks.
“We wanted to draw attention to this problem by addressing sensitive topics that some people are interested in and want to be outspoken about but don’t feel empowered to speak out about,” said Kristijan Janui, chief marketing officer of Hide.me.
As a major media hub, London was a logical option to kick off the campaign. The ultimate aim, however, seems to be to broaden the scope to include places outside of Europe.
Schaub was asked whether the organisation had any future campaigns planned against other authoritarian governments, to which he said, “If the story fits, most certainly absolutely, we’ll never restrict ourselves as we intend on keeping totally open, honest, edgy, and fearless.”
Subtly charming pop culture geek. Amateur analyst. Freelance tv buff. Coffee lover