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Government Privacy Security

Phony VPN Services Are Cashing In On America's War On Privacy (vice.com) 69

Reader Freshly Exhumed writes: Nicholas Deleon at Motherboard reveals a run-in with scammers who are already hard at work taking advantage of newly signed legislation that allows Internet Service Providers to sell your online privacy, including your web browser history, to the highest bidder without your consent. Relatedly, Tim Berners-Lee would prefer people to protest in the streets rather than take technical measures such as TOR and VPN. For those intent on using VPN, TorrentFreak has their latest reviews of VPN anonimity practices, with the caveat that the info is submitted by the VPN companies themselves on a "trust us" basis.
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Phony VPN Services Are Cashing In On America's War On Privacy

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    TOR is so slow.

  • by Fringe ( 6096 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @04:24PM (#54181169)
    Sometimes people don't even realize encrypted data is present.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ROT-26 is faster than running ROT-13 twice, and is just as secure.

      But the modern recommendation is ROT-416. It's well established that the NSA has been able to break double-ROT-13 and ROT-26 for a long time now. There are also rumors of them secretly injecting vulnerabilities into the ROT standard, so be careful out there!

  • by waspleg ( 316038 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @05:04PM (#54181475) Journal

    I did quite a bit. I've been using AirVPN (based in Italy) for several years without any issues beyond ones I caused myself; and without any love letters from Comcast.

    (no I'm not affiliated just a satisfied customer - check my post history)

  • by worf_mo ( 193770 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @05:20PM (#54181603)

    That One Privacy Guy maintains a detailed VPN comparison chart [thatoneprivacysite.net]. The chart lists the results for a number of criteria for each VPN provider. Information is gathered from public sources and by contacting the respective hotlines. There is also an article about choosing a VPN [thatoneprivacysite.net], and a review section [thatoneprivacysite.net].

    The site is a bit slow to load, but if offers some good information. I like the fact that no recommendation is given, everyone can come to their own conclusions based on their requirements and the available data. From the FAQ:.

    Q: Can you give me a recommendation?

    A: Sorry, but to be unbiased, I created my project for others to make this determination for themselves. Everyone’s needs and threat models are different as well, so if I made a suggestion that conflicted with your needs, it could very well have the opposite effect as intended.

    • That comparison site is only useful if you are assuming that the VPN itself cannot be a threat, a point which is refuted by the very article we are posting about.

      The site even includes this disclaimer, which you have glossed over: "including if a given VPN service is not transparent and does not make the data available on their official site."

  • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @05:47PM (#54181787)

    Over the past few years there have been many articles written about VPNs but they all suffer from the same problem, and this article is no different:

    their latest reviews of VPN anonimity practices, with the caveat that the info is submitted by the VPN companies themselves on a "trust us" basis.

    There is absolutely no independently verified information. The only information provided in the articles comes directly from the VPN companies themselves, making it completely useless. More lazy journalism.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      That may be true, but it's still a step up from the ISP situation, which are known to look at traffic. The VPNs at least promise not to, and if they get caught out in a lie they can lose their entire business, because there is real competition for them.

      So it's not perfect by a long shot, and we can and should wish for better. But if you have to pick something to put your trust in, better the VPN company than the ISP company. And you can also pick your VPN: change if the old ones breaks your trust, or pic

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      A VPN offers a nice encryption layer that hides all plain text from local police, local gov, lawyers, health services, your ISP.
      That is great given how much is now been collected in many nations over months and can be searched and requested by a gov, local gov, public private partnership contractors or a lawyer for a civil matter in some nations.
      In the UK "As the Investigatory Powers Bill passes into law, internet providers will be required to keep a full record of every site that each of its customers h
      • by Nethead ( 1563 )

        I'm lucky that my ISP is a Native Sovereign Government (Indian Tribe) with a small user base and an attitude that anything like a DCMA just looks like extra work and screw that shit. Not the greatest speed (25/3) but damn good ping times. I even get a static IP which is really handy. That said, I do have PIA that I fire up from time to time and a few BSD boxen VMs scattered around the world.

  • by Altrag ( 195300 )

    Innovation! Look at all the new ways companies are figuring out to screw customers over! The possibilities are endless! MAGAMAGAMAGA!

  • Honeypots (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Just remember, most of the "private", "secure" email services turned out to be either direct honeypots or, even if legit at first, taken over later by the NSA or other agencies, with money and/or threats, and turned into a honeypot, as revealed by wikileaks papers. VPN will probably be the same

  • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @06:59PM (#54182205)
    It's not difficult to roll your own VPN solution if you have some knowledge of BSD/Linux. This is really and truly the only way to ensure trust and even then it is not 100%. OpenVPN is not hard to install and configure but I am sure it is not immune from would-be intruders.
    • Re:Roll your own (Score:4, Interesting)

      by R.Mo_Robert ( 737913 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @10:54PM (#54183167)

      It's not difficult to roll your own VPN solution if you have some knowledge of BSD/Linux. This is really and truly the only way to ensure trust and even then it is not 100%. OpenVPN is not hard to install and configure but I am sure it is not immune from would-be intruders.

      Umm, how does that help? I do have a VPN server to remote in to my home network and access services, shares, and other resources I don't make publicly visible (which is almost everything--that I don't, I mean), but you seem to be missing the part where the type of VPN this article is talking about is for people who wish to disguise their network traffic from home (and elsewhere) by sending it over a VPN to a remote server, often in another country--the problem being that it's not always apparent if you can trust that server.

  • The summary continues to play into the hype about a law which merely cancels a regulation which had not yet gone into effect. The passage of the law changed NOTHING with regard to consumer privacy. It merely prevented a regulation from going into effect in December, which it was claimed would increase protections for consumer privacy (I have not studied the regulation in question, so I do not have much of an opinion of whether it would have actually done so. I am however skeptical about whether it would hav
  • We've got to do something to stop Internet Providers criminal activity. In the UK, ISP BT hacked their customers website traffic, changing the pages they were expecting to see, and inserting the adverts BT wanted you to see instead. This went to court, and despite this practice breaking many laws in hacking / interception of communications, identity fraud etc, somehow, the court let off BT with a slap - no prison time for anyone involved in this criminal activity. Read the saga about Phorm https://en.wikipe [wikipedia.org]

  • I think it's not just tor... i've used hss proxy, ib and ivacy vpn too and pretty much every vpn is slow when it comes to encryption, including others too. it just shouldn't cross that line where it becomes downright unusable. the foregone speed is a trade-off for the encryption you get. about the OP, i read that thing over motherboard as well as troyhunt and i'm not sure if it's funny or ironic but in any case, these scams almost seem to leave users with more questions.

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