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    Posted May 30, 2013 by
    Austin, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Tech talk

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    Arab Spring and Emerging Technology

    Right now, you are probably not thinking about it, but you may be using upwards of thousands of computer patents. Our world is filled with them, and so is David Gorodyansky’s. A recent Google search for Gorodyansky’s patents yielded 381 results. He also has a successful company, Anchorfree. Their program, Hotspot Shield has infiltrated into hard to reach markets around the world.

    Hotspot Shield gained popularity with Arab Spring. Arab Spring was a period in 2011 when democratic uprisings sprang up and spread across the Middle East. It began in late 2010 in Tunisia and spread to the rest of the Middle East. During this time, many people used social networking tools to communicate and organize the uprising. Videos of political speeches broadcasted over the Internet lead people to rally.

    However, in most Arab countries, Internet use was unsecured, being shut down periodically, or being monitored. This is where Hotspot Shield came in. Hotspot Shield creates a VPN (virtual private network) that you can take anywhere. It compresses bandwidth and most importantly, encrypts data. These features allow you to unblock websites, hide your IP address and generally be anonymous on the Internet. Hotspot Shield for PC and Mac is supported by ad revenue. There is a small fee per month for iPhones/iPads, and a version without ads for $5 per month. It is also available for Android.

    As of November 2012, according to crunchbase.com, Hotspot Shield has had 100 million PC and Mac downloads and three million mobile downloads. The program has launched David Gorodyansky onto Forbes list of America's Most Promising CEOs Under 35.

    Now back to patents. Gorodyansky has contributed to innovations in ad revenue including an algorithm for choosing paid advertisements for search engine results. The algorithm retrieves data from the user and then puts data into search engines, to retrieve paid advertisements. It uses the user’s interests; even location and time to send very personalized ads back to them. Thus, making it more likely that the user will buy the product that is advertised, presumably equaling more revenue. A second patent, among almost 400, includes a system for allowing wireless Internet access in public.

    Another patent is a system to guard data on social networking sites with a data filter, between the user and the social networks. It can be used as a plug-in, and the filter encrypts information put on the site by the user. It has the ability to allow other users to see the encrypted information if the user gives permission to do so. In this case, the user would use a decryption key. Or, access of information can be controlled by the privacy setting on the social network. The user has all the control.

    David Gorodyansky is an innovator whose software helped facilitate a revolution in the Middle East. The software he is patenting is not just influencing the way we use computers, but it is changing much more than that.

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