CashU is a payment processor that offers people in the Middle East and North Africa the ability to pay for services without the need for a credit card, and it claims to have become ‘one of the most popular alternative payment option (sic) for young Arabic online gamers and e-commerce buyers.’
Payment processors have something of a problem with VPN providers, and in the past the likes of PayPal ,Payson, and Paysafecard have frozen VPN company assets and refused process payments from them. It now seems that CashU is playing the same game, and when it refused TorGuard an application to use its services, it gave the following explanation,
‘Please note that since VPN Services can support anonymity when being misused, CASHU, as a financial institution, is prohibited from supporting such services as is it going through a transitional stage. Therefore, kindly note that we cannot accept your merchant account registration.’
TorGuard CEO Ben Van Pelt told TorrentFreak that he suspected some kind of regional censorship was to blame,
‘Privacy online is a basic human right and fundamental building block of any free, democratic society. Unfortunately, CashU’s Middle Eastern underwriting banks are not located in such a place. Censorship laws enforced by the United Arab Emirate’s Telecom Regulatory Authority borderline on draconian as they decide what content is or is not acceptable. It seems that this new anti VPN “transitional stage” for CashU is part of a larger issue of increased government censorship and regulation in the region.’
So far, VPN services that are already signed with CashU are unaffected, but this may change in the future.
We would just like to make it absolutely clear that protecting your anonymity and privacy using a VPN is not somehow ‘shady’ or ‘suspect’. To able to do so is a basic human right, and is almost nowhere illegal (although places such as Chine do try to block VPN services).
TorGuard is having a bit of a hard time in this department at the moment, as it was also turned down by popular Chinese payment provider Alipay (which has yet to explain its reasons for doing this…)