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Nov 12 - Mar 30, 2019

Show the world what
digital privacy looks like


The moving image is a fantastic medium not just for entertainment, but also for education. An effective video can communicate a wealth of information, and it’s easy to share across social media and other digital platforms.

This year, ExpressVPN challenged young filmmakers to create a video that answers the following question:

What happens when the Internet of Things goes wrong?

Announcing our winner

Congratulations to our grand prize winner, 17-year-old Travaughn Lamar, who lives in London. Travaughn’s short film The Interception creatively captured a dystopian future in which the Internet of Things has gone very wrong. Unfortunately, we could not award a first or second runner-up prize due to an insufficient number of qualifying entrants.

futuristic city

Filmmakers have just as much to say about digital privacy as programmers and journalists. If people can visualize privacy risks and challenges, they can understand them. And if they understand them, they can better protect themselves.
— Harold Li, Vice President of ExpressVPN

Why is the Internet of Things a threat to privacy?

If you’re not familiar with the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s a catchall term for consumer electronics that are able to connect to the internet, merging our physical and digital lives. Examples include refrigerators that can order more groceries, electronic picture frames that display photos from a Dropbox folder, or security cameras that let you check on your house from afar. These devices often come with fancy apps that allow you to control them with your phone or computer. Pretty awesome, right?

Yet the Internet of Things has a dark side. New security vulnerabilities, unwanted data harvesting, and other unwelcome features are brought to light almost every day. Some people are even beginning to question whether the added convenience of being able to turn on the oven from their driveway is really worth it.


Grand Prize

$2,500 cash reward


First Runner-Up

choice of
a Canon EOS 80D camera - or -
Wacom Cintiq Pro tablet

Canon EOS 80D Camera or Cintiq Pro Tablet

Second Runner-Up

12-month subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud

12 months Adobe Creative Cloud

All finalists and winners receive a 12-month subscription to ExpressVPN.

12 months ExpressVPN

Contest Terms and Conditions

  1. All video entries must be in English.
  2. Entrants must be 16-25 years of age on the day the competition closes (March 30, 2019). Contest winners will be asked to confirm their age with ExpressVPN by emailing a scan of a government-issued ID. Winners found to be in violation of the age requirement will be passed over in favor of the next runner-up.
  3. Entrants may only submit one video entry. Entrants will be disqualified for submitting more than one video.
  4. Entrants must use a valid email address when submitting a video.
  5. Video entries must not violate the intellectual property rights of another individual or party. This includes all images and sounds used in the creation of the video.
  6. In submitting their video, entrants agree to assign to ExpressVPN all rights to reuse, republish, and modify their submitted work.
  7. If one of the listed prizes for first or second runner-up becomes unavailable, a prize of similar monetary value will be awarded instead.
film strip

How to submit (competition has ended)

Enter a short video exploring the prompt below:


What happens when the Internet of Things goes wrong?

Video length

Two minutes or less




Totally up to you! But all submissions must be appropriate for all ages. If in doubt, follow YouTube’s guidelines for what constitutes age-restricted content.


10:00 p.m. PST, March 30, 2019


About ExpressVPN

expressvpn red square

Since 2009, ExpressVPN has been a fierce defender of the right to digital privacy. The company provides top-of-the-line VPN apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, among other platforms. In addition to enriching the world with its software, ExpressVPN also uses its blog, YouTube channel, and Twitter to further discussion of online freedoms.