Looking back at 2021
Every year the battle to protect online freedom continues. 2021 was no exception. A report by Reporters Without Borders revealed that 488 journalists were detained this year. That’s 20% more than in 2020. Moreover, 46 journalists were killed and 65 held hostage.
Belarus continued its pattern of repression against journalists as the country gradually moved towards an increasingly totalitarian state. Myanmar also experienced a crackdown on free expression after a military coup. The leaders of the Communist Party tightened their grip on China. In Hong Kong, the regime punished dissidents, while we also witnessed evidence of the ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims and the repression of people in Tibet.
How did NordVPN contribute?
This year, Nord Security positively contributed to diverse online and offline communities. We supported various non-profit and educational institutions around the world, helping to ensure that those in need were protected from internet censorship and surveillance and can enjoy their right to freedom of speech.
But we couldn't have done it alone.
Our key partners
With us on the road towards a better tomorrow were these key organizations.
The World Wide Web Foundation
This year, we proudly started our partnership with the World Wide Web Foundation. This non-profit organization advocates for a free and open web for everyone. It focuses on increasing global internet access and trying to make the global web an empowering tool for people to improve their lives. Its mission is to make the open web a public good and a fundamental right. The WWWF addresses issues like fake news, online manipulation, privacy violations, and other digital threats.
The Human Rights Foundation
The primary mission of the Human Rights Foundation is to “unite people in the common cause of defending human rights and promoting liberal democracy.” It protects and promotes human rights globally with a special focus on closed societies. The HRF advocates such rights as the right to free speech, the freedom of religion, the freedom of association, and the freedom of movement. It sponsors initiatives all across the globe to spread awareness and eventually provide support.
The Hack+Policy Foundation
The Hack+Policy Foundation is a global non-profit organization engaging young professionals with backgrounds in art and technology. It tries to solve society's most pressing problems by organizing hackathons and workshops. The foundation also tries to provide opportunities to people from non-IT backgrounds to participate in their events and spark innovation.
Justice For Society
Justice For Society is a youth-led organization aiming to create a platform to spread awareness about various ongoing social issues. It does this by producing interviews, podcasts, and articles by various experts. JSF aims to build a community where young people will be able to share their experiences and educate each other.
We are proud to continue our long-term partnership with Amnesty International, one of the most significant NGOs in the human rights field. Amnesty International fights for “a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments.” The organization fights against human rights abuses, capital punishment, and torture. It received a Nobel Peace Prize for its activities back in 1977.
AccessNow is another partner with whom we have maintained a close relationship for many years. It is a community of technologists fighting for an open and non-discriminatory internet. AccessNow's mission is to create an online space where people treat each other with transparency and accountability.
One of the organization’s key events is RightsCon — a conference on digital human rights. In 2021, NordVPN was proud to sponsor this event, which hosted 8,500 participants from 164 countries.
Human Right Watch
Human Rights Watch conducts research and advocacy on human rights. The organization often operates on behalf of children, refugees, migrants, and political prisoners. HRW pressures people in power to initiate decision-making that denounces abuse and respects human rights. Similar to Amnesty International, it operates in situations of severe oppression and abuse worldwide.
What else did we do?
Here are a few other things we did in 2021:
- We gave away more than 1,200 Nord product accounts to people and organizations in need.
- We actively supported gender equality and inclusiveness by sponsoring such women empowerment initiatives as WiCyS (Women in Cybersecurity), Global Women’s March, GSBHacks (Girls of South Bay Hacks), DIY Girls, and Women Go Tech.
- We tried to improve students' digital awareness and support future cybersecurity specialists by partnering with educational institutions such as Vilnius University, California State University, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Kaunas University of Technology, and LCC International University.
- Nord Security also supported Waffle Games 4.0, the annual gaming convention by EGD Collective.
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