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Nov 28, 2016

Psiphon's First Time Supporting Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival

The 2016 Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival has come to a close after a successful run from 8th to 19th November, 2016. As the largest Asian film festival in Canada, Reel Asian has been bridging the Pan-Asian contemporary cinema and Canadian community through creating a platform for emerging and award-winning directors, actors and the local community to share their work and opinions on films. This year, over half of the film titles were directed by North American filmmakers.

This year marked the 20th anniversary, and for the first time new elements were introduced for the film festival-- including Reel Asian's inaugural WEE ASIAN Kids Programme for parents and children, free entries to 10 films for senior and student audience, as well as a new 20/20 Interview Series. 20 candidates who either have worked or attended the film festival in the past 20 years were invited to talk about their memorable stories with Reel Asian, as well as the impact of the film festival on their lives. 

Psiphon is very excited to collaborate with Reel Asian for the first time in celebration of their 20th anniversary. As much as the festival is a huge success itself with higher than before ticket sales, we helped expand their online exposure to our users in Canada and China, which received over 2.3 million views over the course of the festival. Through Psiphon's content delivery, our users from China learned about media arts that were screening overseas. Psiphon users in Canada and China were also able to watch trailers of selected films on Psiphon Today. 

Since our previous partnership with BFI Film Flare Film Festival, Psiphon continues to pursue opportunities to support art and cinematic initiatives. We are more than happy to connect our users to media arts that are relevant to them and provide an open platform for them to engage with the events.

Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival will happen again in November 2017 with great films!

Check out this year's Reel Asian Award winners and more festival highlights at www.

Want to collaborate with Psiphon Inc. for your next event? Email us at

Stay in touch with us via Twitter and Facebook for ongoing updates!

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Nov 21, 2016

Social Media and Internet Ban in Turkey

Following the detainment of 12 pro-Kurdish lawmakers from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the early hours of November 4th, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp and Skype were blocked in Turkey. There were reports that Turk Telekom internet provider completely disabled access to the internet or throttled the connection to the point that it was impossible to connect.

Despite lack of official decision about the restrictions, and BTK’s explanation that there was a technical problem throughout Turkey, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim made a statement later in the day and said “For security reasons, these kinds of measures can be taken time to time. These are temporary measures. Everything goes back to normal after the danger is eliminated.”

Social media and internet bans ended the following evening in most of the country, but there were still some short-term connection problems during the weekend in some regions, and it was reported that some Turk Telekom users did not have internet for longer periods.

On the same day, multiple local outlets reported that Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) ordered internet providers in the country to block censorship circumvention tools, including Psiphon. Despite the rumor, Psiphon saw no indication that its services were affected negatively.

The BTK denied that circumvention tools were ordered blocked; however Ahment Arslan, the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication, said “We only restrict the use of VPNs because of terrorism reasons. Surely nobody would have an objection about this.
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