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Old 11-10-2010, 09:04 PM
TAFKA...
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Default Horror story from real life: To which degree can we trust our VPN provider?



We know the self-proclaimed purpose of these businesses: to facilitate
unhindered internet access to the citizens of oppressive regimes. Earlier
when we heard this claim, we thought of the chinese and other such
deplorable peoples. Today we wonder, however, if this gradually includes
more and more of ourselves in the (formerly?) free white world.

Usually based in Europe, I have been a customer of a well-known american VPN
provider - in order to get an american IP number and tunnel my internet
activities. This in order to be able to use my constitutional right of free
speech, which in practice doesn't exist here any more - because of corrupt
politicians and cangaroo courts dependent on them. What happened to the
'independent judiciary'?!

Until recently, my experience with this business was good: The price
appeared fair, and their performance seemed flawless. Even in the rare cases
of local trouble during travels, there always was swift and reliable aid
available. Until recently. But then happened something which I wouldn't have
imagined in my wildest dreams.

I went to stay for a while in another white country further away from
Europe. There I found a kind of free public internet service, which looked
fantastic to me - at first glance. When looking closer, however, I found
that it had a severe drawback: They wouldn't allow VPNs to be used.

Apart from the obviously rising 'why is that' question: No problem, I
thought. I am a customer of this well-reputated american business that will
show me how to get around the artificial and doubtful censorship hurdles
erected by the ISP in question. *) But their reactions to my repeated
inquiries were less convincing than earlier: Next to some explanations and
excuses furnished, they offered semi-solutions which were swiftly (within
minutes) circumvented by the local ISP.

So I reminded them of their claim to facilitate unhindered internet access
to the citizens of oppressive regimes - which to some degree includes us,
these days. How could it then be that they as a technological 'giant' were
beaten by some local 'dwarf'? And if that dwarf was able to perform what he
did, couldn't all the oppressive regimes use that same seemingly simple
scheme - meaning the VPN provider would be put out of business from one day
to the next?

I even insisted my concern was presented to their CEO, and I am fairly
confident he eventually got to see it. But this is where the situation has
been allowed to stay. So my question is: Aren't they able to solve this
issue - or are they not willing, because of some kind of pressure exerted
upon them? And another one: Are there competitors to them who offer a 100 %
waterproof service, no matter where, who and what?


*) They don't accept set DNS, i e it is a condition that you let them use
their own. Otherwise, their welcome page doesn't open, where you have to
accept their policies, before you can continue. If you have done that, you
are no longer able to connect to your VPN provider. Have you listened, China
& co? And feel welcome to provide new business ideas for the company in
question...



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Old 11-10-2010, 09:35 PM
Doug McIntyre
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Default Re: Horror story from real life: To which degree can we trust our VPN provider?

"TAFKA..." <tafka@confidential.com> writes:
> So my question is: Aren't they able to solve this
> issue - or are they not willing, because of some kind of pressure exerted
> upon them? And another one: Are there competitors to them who offer a 100 %
> waterproof service, no matter where, who and what?


There's lots of things that can be done to block any VPN
technology. There is no way to get through every single type of firewall.

Being small scale works in their favor, because they can watch the
traffic more closely and restrict it more. Generally, the larger they
are, the harder it is to monitor everything, and thus leaving more
holes open to be exploited.


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