- More than four in 10 (42%) US news sites still completely block visitors from Europe a year after GDPR’s introduction
- A further 9% offer a limited service when accessed from Europe
- The Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and Newsday among those blocking users in the EU
- Over 500 US news sites were tested, from small town papers to national and global brands
London – One year after the European Union implemented its strict new data protection regime, US expats and travellers, along with European journalists, are among those in the EU being cut off from regional news sources in the USA, according to the new US News Access Index from Virtual Private Network (VPN) review service Top10VPN.com.
More than four in 10 (42%) US news sites, including regional titles like The Chicago Tribune, are still blocking European visitors to their sites – in addition, one in 10 (9%) US titles are offering a limited, inferior service to people accessing their sites.
In the most comprehensive study of its kind, Top10VPN.com tested whether US news sites were accessible to visitors from the EU or were blocking such traffic to avoid complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. The 500+ sites tested represent news media from every US state and every level of relative significance, from hyperlocal news sources through to national brands.
The findings revealed a significant disparity from state to state in the accessibility of regional US news to visitors from Europe. For example, Nebraska’s news sites are 90% blocked to visitors from Europe, in contrast with 80% of news sites based in California and Nevada that remain accessible and GDPR-compliant.
The full Access Index is below.
|State||Blocked in the EU||Reduced content in the EU||Available in the EU|
Simon Migliano, Head of Research at Top10VPN.com, says: “It’s understandable that many US regional news outlets have taken the view that there’s not enough upside from incurring the expense of complying with regulations imposed from across the Atlantic, and are simply avoiding the issue altogether by blocking visitors from the EU.
“Whatever the benefits to EU citizens from GDPR, it surely can’t have been the intention of EU lawmakers to restrict the flow of important information like this. As a consequence, not only are US travellers and expats prevented from keeping up-to-date with their local news, but journalists and researchers are also unable to access these valuable and diverse sources of information.
“While it may be possible to sidestep these restrictions by using a VPN, this should not be necessary and discriminates against the less tech-savvy or those unable to pay for a good quality VPN service.”
Notes to Editor
For the purposes of this study, we tested a representative group of ten news sources from each state and 15 national organisations. This group was selected to present a cross-section of news sites in America, based on print circulation and Alexa rankings.
You can read the full report here:
Top10VPN.com is the world’s largest VPN review service. It rates and reviews the best VPN services to help protect consumers’ privacy online. The company also aims to educate the general public about digital privacy and cybersecurity risks through its free online resources.