28 December 2016

How to choose a VPN provider

In recent years the general public has been made aware how governments (read corporation conglomerates) have been acquiring [your?] data.

From web surfing history, online purchases, emails, phone records, texts including their content, literally your entire digital footprint is collected and stored.

Instead of enacting privacy laws that protect the masses governments have ramped up more laws that invade the so called privacy the people may have thought they had once upon a time.

The VPN (Virtual Private Network) is not a new invention, where it could be older than may of the users of social media sites, where in its early days it was associated with a workplace creating a secure tunnel over the internet for workers to communicate securely to their other offices.

In the early days of network hardware encryption companies like Cisco had the market sewn up, but as always, as time goes on, other companies have sprouted up and started to offer those services to the masses.

So how does one choose a company to provide a VPN service to a member of the masses?

Nowadays the above question has a few aspects: a technical one and a political and a legal one.

To make this post as brief as possible we're going to cut straight to the chase, and provide a few basic tips.

The companies to stay away from are the one's who operate in five, nine or fourteen eyes countries which are as follows:

Five: UK, US, CA, NZ, AU
Nine: Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Norway
Fourteen: Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain.

It does not matter what they write in their spiel, about how private they are, it's best to stay away from them.

As an example of government / company lies, a group of companies called the  'Australian Government' has stated that there are three levels of government, that being federal, state/territory and local, see attached photo:

There are only two lawful levels of government: federal and state /territory but alas, this is a digression.

It's good to chose a company that does not store cookies, or use external trackers or have external analytical services.

Third party email is also a weak point, as it can be compromised.

Stay away from companies :

- that keep logs,
- offer only PPTP,
- give out info from "court orders" in "other jurisdictions" (we should know how dodgy they can be).

Run some testing software to see if there are any leaks, or for how long your true IP address masked.

Refer to user forums for technicalities, rather than advertising material alone.

At the end of the day it also comes to trust, in that you trust the company that you are dealing with that they are telling you the truth e.g. that they do not store any logs of your activity.

There is no doubt that there could have been many more words written in this post on this topic.

If you have a shopping list of VPN providers, that can be crossed of from some of the basic info provided here, then you could be on your way into narrowing your choices where you might want to delve deeper into the technical details to make sure that the company is right for you.

26 December 2016

Australians losing privacy rights but snaring a Xmas bargain more important

With almost literally every new law being put into 'force' by the corporation conglomerate called the 'Australian Government' the serfs are being more and more exposed, losing their privacy right's where the rule of Roman law (which is contrary to a founding document called the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900);  "Guilty until proven innocent" is coming out of the legal labyrinth into the public eye.

'Dodgy' laws can be put in place when the herd is asleep, for example at 2:30am, or when the footy grand finals are on, or even times of religious / festive season celebrations.

So how do the masses feel about that?

They're not fussed at all, they could not give a stuff.

They just want to survive at the lowest level of existence, (i.e. beer, footy, sex and roof over head) according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

No one's telling their government they do not want those laws invading their 'Human Rights' are they?

No one's being vocal to march on parliament to tell the law makers they 'suck' (colloquial term for where something bad might come from).

What the herd want is a real shopping bargain after Christmas on a day called Boxing day.

Just another distraction created by the corporation conglomerate to keep the herd populous occupied.

Just another 'Police State' law coming into action, on this colony of the British empire.

The 'government' states that it enacts the will of the people (not the 'minority' but rather the herd populace), and since the herd love their 'shopping' the corporation conglomerate gives them plenty of 'bargains', staying 'honourable' (cough cough) to their words...


You may want to research if Australia's current Attorney-General George Brandis is in office 'lawfully'.

P.S. Also note the word from the headline being 'could'..

See article from 22 December 2016 by the Fairfax publication of the headline:

Australians' phone and email records could be used in civil lawsuits

Australians could have their private phone and email records used against them in civil litigation cases, with the federal government considering relaxing data retention laws.

Critics say it would pave the way for phone and email records to be mined for material to be used in legal action following marriage breakdowns and business disputes.

Many experts have warned that personal phone data could be mined for civil lawsuits. Photo: SeongJoon Cho
The Communications and Attorney-General's departments quietly announced they were conducting a review of national data retention laws five days before Christmas.

As part of the review, the departments are seeking feedback on whether there are particular kinds of civil proceedings, or other circumstances, in which prohibitions on metadata being released could be relaxed.

Attorney-General George Brandis said the mandatory metadata retention regime ''applies only to the most serious crime''.  Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
The review has alarmed technology experts, many of whom warned that personal data could be used for civil lawsuits when data retention laws were first introduced.

"The plan to use the data in civil cases is an outrageous overreach and goes against the safeguards initially introduced," technology and law expert Angela Daly, of the Queensland University of Technology, said. "Data retention should be rolled back, not extended."

Internet law expert John Selby, of Maquarie University, said the review raised the possibility that data retention laws, initially justified on national security grounds, could grow to include measures well beyond their original intent.

"Such provisions may have seen even stronger public resistance to the law if they had been included at the time," Dr Selby said.

Since October last year, Australian telcos such as Telstra and Optus have been required to store metadata logs of people's email, internet, mobile and landline use for up to two years. The contents are not recorded.

The Coalition used the threat of terrorism to justify introducing the laws in 2014, vowing that people had nothing to fear from their introduction.

"The mandatory metadata retention regime applies only to the most serious crime – to terrorism, to international and transnational organised crime, to paedophilia," Attorney-General George Brandis told the ABC in 2014.

But the Communications Alliance, which represents Australian telecommunications companies, the Law Council of Australia and others warned that stored data could become a target for civil litigants and those with malicious aims.

Communications Alliance chief executive John Stanton told a parliamentary committee last year: "Our concern is that ...[it] may generate a tsunami of action in commercial disputes, in marital disputes and in many other cases where the data is being mined."

A spokeswoman from the Attorney-General's office said that as part of the data retention laws, there would be a prohibition on courts releasing telcommunications data to be used in civil legal proceedings, which would take effect in April next year.

However, she said, the review would consider whether there should be exemptions to this, and pointed out a parliamentary committee last year said there were some circumstances, including international abductions or family violence cases, where having access to metadata could be valuable.

The committee recommended the government review the "exclusions" from access to metadata by April 13, 2017.

While there were already provisions in the Telecommunications Act that allowed telcos to be compelled to produce data relating to court proceedings, this only applied in criminal cases, Deakin University criminology lecturer Adam Molnar said.

"One has to be concerned about the recent call for submissions over the holiday period - it's hardly fulsome conditions for informed debate," he said. "And extending this into civil litigation is potentially opening up a whole new can of worms."

Submissions can be made to the review by January 13.