Smartphone security app booms in Arab spring and China
Nov 18, 2012 (Financial Mail on Sunday - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A SMARTPHONE app that allows access to blocked content when abroad has had more than three million downloads in the year since its launch last November.
The HotSpot Shield, which costs pounds sterling 13 a year or can be downloaded for free if the user accepts adverts, has been used during the 'Arab Spring' to access social networks, for getting over the 'Great Firewall of China' and as a security tool for Wi-Fi hot spots, according to AnchorFree founder David Gorodyansky. He said: We set it up to be used for security and privacy, for example people going online in the airport or Starbucks, but then since the Arab Spring it took a completely different turn and people were using it to access information.
'We went from having 100,000 users to one million in Egypt overnight. There are 600 million people living in places where their access is blocked and world events have had an impact on our growth. In terms of web traffic, Google is number one and we are at number 36. That is more than CNN.
AnchorFree raised $53 million (pounds sterling 33 million) last summer through Goldman Sachs and is based in California. It is designed to protect personal data online by making it untraceable.
Other investors include former president of the Huffington Post Greg Coleman and a former chief financial officer of IBM.
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