The Open Technology Fund is pleased to announce the Surge and Sustain Fund, a mechanism to support the user-carrying costs of leading VPNs and circumvention solutions in highly restrictive environments. The Fund was created in response to the increasing use of circumvention technologies to counter censorship efforts worldwide, and will provide circumvention tools with the resources they need to both support their current users and respond to growing demand for their tools.
Since OTF’s inception, its funding mechanisms have been used to help find solutions to safely allow users to access content in censored environments. However, in many authoritarian countries, it has become cost-prohibitive for citizens to access secure and effective circumvention tools. OTF is responding to this challenge through the Surge and Sustain Fund, which will support user-carrying costs for non-monetizable users of secure, open-source circumvention tools critical to ensuring that all citizens living in repressive environments have access to the uncensored global internet.
While the Surge and Sustain Fund will not cover any new development efforts (for all development-related costs, please refer your applications to the Internet Freedom Fund), the Fund will cover the additional marginal costs associated with providing circumvention services in critical, high-need countries. All applications will be conducted through a three-stage competitive application process, which will include being reviewed by an advisory council for the Fund.
More information on the Surge and Sustain Fund can be found through our funding opportunities page. If you are a VPN-provider or circumvention solution provider, do not hesitate to reach out to our team at [email protected] if you have any questions or want to learn more.