CJFE partners with SurfEasy to distribute 200 VPN licences to Journalists in Distress

Tuesday, July 11, 2017
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PHOTO: Surfeasy.com

VPN licences will provide digital security for journalists to work safely and access emergency assistance when threatened.

Toronto, ON (July 10, 2017)—Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is proud to partner with SurfEasy to help journalists avoid surveillance and potential persecution under repressive regimes. 200 Virtual Private Network (VPN) licenses will be provided for free to journalists around the world who contact or apply to CJFE’s Journalists in Distress Program, which provides humanitarian assistance and resources to journalists around the world whose lives and well-being are threatened because of their work.


The journalists who contact CJFE and apply for the program’s emergency funding have experienced threats, imprisonment, torture and assassination attempts, and are typically in dangerous countries where press freedom and free expression rights are repressed. Many have been forced to flee their countries for safety, but state and non-state actors often continue to threaten and seek them and their families out. For both those who remain and those who flee their home countries, any of their digital communications—especially those with confidential sources and to international aid organizations and programs—could be surveilled and geolocated, placing them directly at risk of further threats and actions.


SurfEasy is generously donating 200 VPN licenses to enable these journalists to safely continue their work and access emergency assistance when facing threats. CJFE’s partnership with SurfEasy to provide this tool is a vital step towards ensuring the highest standard of digital security for the Journalists in Distress program.


VPNs enable users to protect their identity and bypass online state censors by using encryption to provide secure online access to remote networks. The licences will give 200 journalists the ability to access online information and blocked websites, protect their confidential sources, hide their identity and location from their persecutors, report with increased protection on local and international public interest issues and, most importantly, seek emergency assistance and a safe escape when they face immediate threats.


While some VPN providers may collect, keep and share user data, SurfEasy prioritizes the digital safety and security of individuals by using a no-log system so they do not have access to user data. These VPN licences will provide the anonymity and ability to use the internet freely without being tracked that can mean the difference between life and death for journalists in precarious situations.

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Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, CJFE promotes a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights.


SurfEasy is a Canadian VPN provider committed to protecting privacy, security and censorship-free access to the internet with easy-to-use solutions for users across the globe. With an ultra-fast, reliable VPN app available for most devices, SurfEasy is proud to assist in the fight for freedom of information and freedom of expression as well as free and open internet access for all.  


For media inquiries or more information, contact:


Ethan Rasiel
SurfEasy Media Contact at Lightspeed PR
[email protected]

Kevin Metcalf
CJFE Promotions and Communications Coordinator
[email protected]

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