It’s fairly common these days to have VPNs (virtual privacy networks) for both business and personal computer use. But what about the companies who offer these services? How much data do they save, and what happens if they get bought about by another provider? Will the same terms and conditions be honoured for previous customers?
True, this broke a while ago, but is worth a mention for the long term security and privacy issues. Unfortunately, internet privacy is just assumed by far too many people.
The site restoreprivacy.com put a considerable amount of work into this article. They’ve compiled quite the reference list. Rather than rehashing everything, go visit their site for more information.
A few of the points listed are these:
- 2017: Crossrider purchases CyberGhost VPN for $10 million
- 2018: Crossrider changes name to “Kape”
- 2018: Kape purchases Zenmate VPN for $5 million
- 2019: Kape purchases Private Internet Access for $127 million
- In May 2021, news broke that Kape had purchased a company called Webselenese. Like Kape, Webselenese also operates out of Israel and runs the websites vpnMentor.com and Wizcase.com.
- 2021: Kape purchases ExpressVPN for $936 million by far the largest VPN acquisition to date
VPNs do have legitimate purposes and make an enormous difference in protecting people online. However, no company is truly invulnerable.
How do we know that a VPN company is what it claims to be, and not a front for intelligence gathering? Such an operation would put Facebook to shame in terms of its capabilities.
Beyond privacy rights, there are also property rights to think about. If a person or company publishes content, and then ads are inserted (without consent), is that not interference? If content doesn’t reach its destination as it should, it can have financial consequences.
A few ideas to think about:
-Consider different browsers, 1 for sensitive use, another for more general use
-Have multiple encryption methods
-Think twice about sending certain material at all, which should be commonsense
-Talk in person, and avoid technology where possible
-Research who actually owns your VPN service
-Be prepared to walk away if needed
Yes, there is the argument that “if you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to hide”. However, there’s nothing wrong with people wanting to keep their personal lives private.
While this is a bit different from the normal subjects, it’s worthwhile to think about the long term impacts of your online data. Also, with the creeping authoritarianism and medical tyranny (for your safety of course), Governments could very well get in on this. One of the consequences of limiting public gatherings is that it drives people online, where it’s much easier to monitor their content.
(2) Former Malware Distributor Kape Technologies Now Owns ExpressVPN
(4) These Ex-Israeli Surveillance Agents Hijack Your Browser To Profit From Ads
(6) High-Level ExpressVPN Executive Ensnared in Criminal Surveillance Operation
(8) Ex-U.S. intel operatives admit hacking American networks for UAE _ Reuters
(10) Israeli company Crossrider buys Romania’s CyberGhost for EUR 9.2 mln
(12) Crossrider renamed Kape after switching to cybersecurity – Globes