Amidst the efforts of authoritarian governments to restrict internet access, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have emerged as a way for people to bypass these limitations. In countries where social media platforms are banned, VPNs have become a lifeline for individuals to communicate and connect with the outside world.
Pakistan is the latest country to witness a surge in demand for VPN services after the government blocked access to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms due to the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The crackdown resulted in widespread protests, blockades, and traffic jams, leading to an unprecedented increase in VPN usage, reaching up to 846% above the average on May 10. Top10VPN, a monitoring service for VPN usage, has reported the spike and expects the demand for VPN services to increase further as the social media ban continues.
Along with the VPN surge, mobile broadband services were also completely severed throughout the country, highlighting the government’s efforts to restrict information flow during times of