Dec 26, 2014

Psiphon : Local mobile phone users bypass billing as devs try to disable free Internet

MANILA - Psiphon, a free mobile app that’s available on Android, recently started trending on social media after some local users found a way to use it to gain free unlimited Internet access.

The users under local carriers Smart, Globe, and Sun Cellular have been using the mobile app to go online without incurring data charges, and have even managed to bypass the data caps that are supposed to limit those with unlimited mobile data subscriptions.

Psiphon continues to work even now, allowing users to browse the Web without load with the use of their tablets or smartphones.

Using the app couldn’t be simpler. You just download it and install it on your device, and you could be online browsing your favorite web sites free of charge within a few minutes — no technical knowledge required.

But all of this may soon come to an end. As we reported last week, Psiphon issued a statement to local users through one of their web sites, warning of an upcoming software update that will remove the ability to connect to the Internet for free.

Psiphon CEO and VP of Commercial Management Karl Kathuria sent us an e-mail to outline what really happened with Psiphon in this whole kerfuffle.

According to Kathuria, the previous Psiphon software update was intended to improve performance in certain areas, “making it harder to block the software and thus improving the experience for our existing user base.”

But shortly after the update, they noticed that Psiphon became “extremely popular” here in the Philippines.

The reason, according to reports sent to Psiphon and various social media postings, was that the app was being used not to bypass censorship but to bypass the billing paywall of local mobile providers.

So in the interest of making users use the app as intended, Psiphon will be updated soon to disable the free mobile Internet access.

Kathuria said in a statement, “Obviously, we intend to continue to make Psiphon available to everyone. Our next update will not stop Psiphon working in the Philippines, but it will prevent it being used for people to get free Internet connectivity.”

“The purpose of Psiphon is to bypass censorship,” Kathuria continued. “And we need to make sure that’s what it’s being used for.”

via interaksyon


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