submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

It is something to always take into consideration and not forget.

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[-] [email protected] 178 points 2 weeks ago

A smart VPN will avoid going to jail for you by not storing any of the data law enforcement wants in the first place.

[-] [email protected] 105 points 2 weeks ago

Yeah, Mullvad was searched and they shrugged and said "well, go ahead" and could then proudly publish that the Swedish authorities could take zero info from there: https://mullvad.net/en/blog/update-the-swedish-authorities-answered-our-protocol-request

[-] [email protected] 51 points 2 weeks ago

Just recently signed up for Mullvad... No CC numbers or email addresses, you just get a string of numbers and that's all you need to connect with it anywhere. And you can pay with Monero.

It's like the paranoid person's dream.

[-] [email protected] 37 points 2 weeks ago

Heck, if you want, you can pay with hard cash by mailing it with your payment token to their office. It's pretty great when it comes to choice of privacy.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 weeks ago

Wondering how these magicians measure quality of service then, since they collect no juicy data. I find this hard to believe.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 2 weeks ago

Quality of service is usually only useful with aggregate data which is worthless for prosecuting an individual.

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[-] [email protected] 95 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)

Considering this is straight from a VPN provider, take this with a boulder-sized grain of salt.

And I say that as someone who believes using a VPN is generally more beneficial than not. And espouses most of that advice regarding the VPN.

Even if a VPN were totally benevolent and gave daily tours of its office, there's still no 100% guarantee their claims can be verified at all times. So there's always an element of trust. (I trust most of the ones outside of the Eyes countries more than my home ISP, though. )

[-] [email protected] 37 points 2 weeks ago

I would put Mullvad and IVPN up there as the two VPNs I'd trust most to do things right, but I still agree with everything you've said.

[-] [email protected] 11 points 2 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)

See the last points in the article: run by activists, and would rather shut down than cooperate with law enforcement.

I don't know if proton is run by activists, but I do know they've cooperated with law enforcement by inserting code to log user requests when coming from a specific user. Plenty of articles about the court case, and it's also why they did away with their no-log policy.

Also, are their logins token based or username based and connected to the protonmail account?

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)

I think they only did the login thing with their mail service and email was never a protocol ment for privacy and email and vpn laws vary wildly. Feel free to correct me tho .

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[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 weeks ago

After the changes to their TOS I lost any trust I had in Proton

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 weeks ago

I'd put cryptostorm up there too

[-] [email protected] 10 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)

As others have said, Mullvad is pretty close to (if not at) 100% guarantee... No personal info whatsoever is required to be given when you sign up (including email address or payment information; you can use Monero if you want), so there isn't really anything that they could give to authorities even if they wanted.

Even if they did keep logs (which im 99.9% sure they don't), all that would show is an IP address, and from what I understand based on past precedent, that is not enough to identify a person on its own. But IANAL.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 2 weeks ago

The purpose of these corporate white papers is to inform (impress) potential customers of actual issues. It demonstrates knowledge and implies that the company has the ability to leverage their product or service to meet whatever the challenge is.

I wouldn't say boulder-sized because the meat of the article is true, but yes a bit of skepticism is always useful.

[-] [email protected] 66 points 2 weeks ago

Meh, just Mullvad. Cops can raid em all they want; they just walk away empty handed

[-] [email protected] 41 points 2 weeks ago

In this blog post we explain why competent service operators can avoid having to share sensitive information about you without facing severe legal consequences. The reasons laid out will also highlight why you are better off choosing a VPN service run by privacy activists who will prioritise principles before profits in difficult situations

is it me or does it read like someone used an LLM to write those sentences?

[-] [email protected] 18 points 2 weeks ago

Sounds like the intro paragraph to someone's term paper at uni.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)

This is usually how I intro documentation for tech projects. Its good practice for technical docs, doesn't necessarily mean its an LLM

[-] [email protected] 7 points 2 weeks ago

Yeah, that's what I was going to say. Thank god that shit didn't exist when I was in college, or every paper I ever wrote would have been flagged. I guess I write like a robot.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 weeks ago

Worth noting that there is a strong correlation between neurodivergence and falsely getting flagged for using AI. Apparently AI sounds autistic, so lots of autistic kids were getting flagged for AI use even when they wrote it themselves.

But if it helps, even ChatGPT has had to admit that AI detection is inaccurate and schools shouldn’t be relying on them.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 weeks ago

the twist is that the LLM writes like this because you trained it to do so with your term papers that it scraped

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[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 weeks ago

GPT loves alliteration, so at least there’s something to support your suspicion.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 weeks ago

So, scrub my papers for alliteration. Thanks for the tip.

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[-] [email protected] 15 points 2 weeks ago

Verifiably no logs without court order (I'm guessing canary pages have gone the way of the dodo now, probably boilerplate in the orders, maybe wrong according to the article, perhaps in some jurisdictions) would be awesome. Verified by external audit is about as good as we can get, so proton, tutanota, I think, others muchly appreciated. I think one of them setup their OS in volatile RAM, which is cool, but probably not legally protective.

No, I don't expect you to go to jail for me, but due diligence minimising knowledge will bump you up my list of providers to choose.

One problem here is those that do verify, usually don't allow torrenting ports, so, no ratios for you. Anyone know what the over/under is on lesser tier VPNs that port share vs a VPS (with all its potential, but which country?) vs Usenet? Looking to have a clue when the time comes, knowledge gratefully accepted :)

[-] [email protected] 19 points 2 weeks ago

I love Mullvad and recommend them for everything other than torrenting. Once they disabled port forwarding I moved to AirVPN who seem to be pretty legit.

I'm not trying to keep my ratios up but I have a few torrents of media that are not available anywhere for sale and have less than 10 seeds, so I feel like I am helping keep the shows and movies of my childhood alive.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 2 weeks ago

They did have a server seized (physically) in 2015: https://lemmy.dbzer0.com/post/6754830
Though apparently there were no logs.

Interestingly though, that forum post was now deleted from AirVPN site. Strange...

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 weeks ago

Hmm, TIL, thanks.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 2 weeks ago

Good person. Much like I would like to do. I'd be happy with a VPN for personal use and another one for torrenting (gluetun compatible preferably) Shall look at AirVPN, thanks.

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[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 weeks ago

I mean, if you set up your os on an encrypted ram disk, then set it to restart when the server rack door was unlocked/opened and didn't leave a backdoor for yourself to remote in, you could have a situation where you entirely lack the capability to give them access to anything before that moment. A skilled hacker might be able to get in through an exploit or do something crazy with cryogenics to read the memory at the time of shutdown, but a quick restart would overwrite most of what's in memory and scrub that

Legally, there's not much better defense than "I'm sorry your honor, I can't provide access to the running system in the same way I can't un-shatter a smashed mug". If someone shows up with a warrant, you could explain that it'll wipe itself if they open or unplug it, and it might've done so already. Then you guide them to it, hand over the key to the server cabinet, and let them decide to open the cabinet and destroy evidence so they can take it with them. Or they can take you at your word, and give up.

Court orders can't break physics, and as a VPN your reasoning for setting up the system like this is to make your service more appealing to customers - the purpose is not to aid in a crime or destroy evidence, it's just the normal course of business.

The same way that most companies wipe their emails after 30 days - yes, it potentially destroys incriminating paper trails, but that's just a side effect of the security policy you've had all along

Granted, there's probably some sketchy sealed laws they could use to force you to backdoor your own system moving forward, but you can fight that as it's undue hardship. It requires a non-negligible amount of work and would make your product less competitive

They might win in the end if they keep pushing, and even might be able to order you to "keep up the canary paper" (meaning keep claiming not even you have access to the running system), but more likely they'd get a warrant for your customer financial records and try to find an easier path to find what they want elsewhere

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[-] [email protected] 12 points 2 weeks ago

And here I thought companies can't go to jail. Apparently that only applies to the companies who aren't run by the lizard people or the kids popular with the priests.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 weeks ago

The only reason I look at IVPN is because they allow port forwarding

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 weeks ago

They no longer offer this, right?

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 weeks ago
[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)
[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 weeks ago

Unfortunate. I like their model

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[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 weeks ago

Soooo how to split the packets up between 3 VPNs to make each providers piece useless?

[-] [email protected] 19 points 2 weeks ago

You're about 15% of the way to re-inventing Tor.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 weeks ago

check out Nym, they are doing this kind of network

[-] [email protected] 8 points 2 weeks ago

Sounds very similar to Safing Privacy Network. They route different applications across nodes (Tor-esque).

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 weeks ago

That does not work unless you involve yet another party after the VPNs and before the destination to rebuild the packets, as the destination won't know what to do with these split packets.
At that point you may be better off using an anonymity network with or without the VPN.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 weeks ago

I’ve tried IVPN a number of times but it never works for getting around mlb.tv blackouts which is my biggest use case. ExpressVPN has just been reliable for me in that regard.

[-] [email protected] 17 points 2 weeks ago* (last edited 2 weeks ago)

IVPN servers are all well-known and catalogued. ExpressVPN partly buys hacked machines to user as proxies for their paid tier user VPNs, so they are much less likely to be blocked. They have a lot more.. troubling history, that would make me never visit their download site.


Kape Technologies has announced plans to acquire ExpressVPN for $986 million. I do have concerns about this because Kape was once considered a malware provider.

Reuters indicating that ExpressVPN CIO Daniel Gericke is among three men fined $1.6 million by the US Department of Justice for hacking and spying on US citizens on behalf of the government of the UAE (United Arab Emirates).

Kape Technologies has had quite a convoluted history. According to a report in Forbes, a company called Crossrider was formed in 2011 by "billionaire Teddy Sagi, a serial entrepreneur and ex-con who was jailed for insider trading in the 1990s. His biggest money maker to date is gambling software developer Playtech," and Koby Menachemi.

Menachemi was a developer for Unit 8200, an Israeli signals intelligence unit responsible for hacking and collecting data (think of it as part CIA, part NSA, and part high school, because the unit hires and trains teenagers in hacking and coding skills).

the newly renamed Kape Technologies set out on an acquisition binge. The company started buying in 2017, acquiring CyberGhost VPN for about $9 million. Next, in 2018, came Mac antivirus company Intego for $16 million. A few months later, Kape gobbled up another VPN provider, ZenMate, for about $5 million. A year later, in 2019, Kape spent $95 million for Private Internet Access, one of the best known VPN providers at the time.

There's more to the story as well, but you can be sure that all your data is ~~belong~~ either being proxied by a botnet, or being used to spy on you. 'I have nothing to hide!' you may say, but I'm sure you have an app or two that still uses insecure HTTP update checks, which can be intercepted to trigger a malware installation.

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this post was submitted on 03 Apr 2024
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