One Year After GDPR Came Into Force, Over Half of Us News Sites Are Still Blocked in Europe

One Year After GDPR Came Into Force, Over Half of Us News Sites Are Still Blocked in Europe

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.

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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
National 0% 8% 92%
Alabama 60% 10% 30%
Alaska 30% 0% 70%
Arizona 60% 10% 30%
Arkansas 30% 10% 60%
California 20% 0% 80%
Colorado 20% 10% 70%
Connecticut 20% 0% 80%
Delaware 10% 10% 80%
Florida 60% 10% 30%
Georgia 60% 0% 40%
Hawaii 10% 0% 90%
Idaho 60% 0% 40%
Illinois 60% 0% 40%
Indiana 50% 40% 10%
Iowa 80% 10% 10%
Kansas 80% 0% 20%
Kentucky 70% 10% 20%
Louisiana 30% 40% 30%
Maine 20% 0% 80%
Maryland 50% 0% 50%
Massachusetts 40% 0% 60%
Michigan 50% 20% 30%
Minnesota 30% 0% 70%
Mississippi 30% 20% 50%
Missouri 70% 10% 20%
Montana 60% 10% 30%
Nebraska 90% 0% 10%
Nevada 0% 10% 90%
New Hampshire 50% 0% 50%
New Jersey 20% 40% 40%
New Mexico 10% 40% 50%
New York 30% 0% 70%
North Carolina 50% 10% 40%
North Dakota 50% 0% 50%
Ohio 50% 10% 40%
Oklahoma 70% 0% 30%
Oregon 50% 10% 40%
Pennsylvania 30% 10% 60%
Rhode Island 20% 0% 80%
South Carolina 20% 10% 70%
South Dakota 60% 10% 30%
Tennessee 20% 30% 50%
Texas 30% 20% 50%
Utah 40% 0% 60%
Vermont 20% 20% 60%
Virginia 90% 0% 10%
Washington 20% 10% 70%
West Virginia 70% 0% 30%
Wisconsin 60% 20% 20%
Wyoming 70% 0% 30%

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.

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“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.”

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