The largest mobile operator in Europe, Vodafone, is censoring websites in the UK related to the peaceful Chinese meditation practice of Falun Gong.
Natalia Nutting told NTD she found websites relating to an ancient style of meditation practice labeled as adult content. This happened after she switched to the network provider Vodafone this month.
She said, “There was a red message of adult content. And it was so weird because I have been accessing this website for the last 17 years, every day of my life.”
Vodafone told her the only way to gain access was to put in her credit card details to verify her age. She decided to cancel her contract.
The websites she tried to access were related to a self-improvement practice Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa. Falun Gong is freely practised in the UK but severely persecuted by the Chinese regime.
Vodafone did not provide a response as to why these websites are labeled as adult content in the UK.
Vodafone UK has previously said it uses a mix of Nokia, Ericsson, and Chinese tech giant Huawei’s equipment for its 4G and 5G masts.
Top cybersecurity expert Casey Fleming says companies can be pressured into killing free speech when doing business with Beijing.
“The Chinese Communist Party wants to control absolutely every facet of the Chinese people’s lives,” Casey Fleming chairman and CEO of BlackOps Partners said. “For a company or a website to be on a blacklist or an organization to be on a blacklist, that’s not done by accident. That’s done by decision.”
A UK petition earlier this year also said that using a Vodaphone home broadband router prohibits access to Falun Gong domains, blocking them as adult content.