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Why us ? What about other privacy providers ? Read this !

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Joined: 17 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Why us ? What about other privacy providers ? Read this ! Reply with quote

Dear All,

We would like to dedicate this article to point out some important
differences between us and many privacy providers. I'm one of the staff
here who from time to time looks around at all the beautiful and sky is
the limit promises many privacy providers are making on their site. It
is, to be honest, sometimes an insult to the community and people who
take this business serious to see many privacy providers write impossible
"facts". We've spent already a considerable time of our lives in this high
tech world so it helps to recognize the charlatans and the real thing.
We've decided not to name any provider by name, but just to educate
unknowing people to make the right choice, we believe this is fair enough.
It gives those specific providers chance to do something the right way
without lowering ourselves to the level of a few which revert to slander
and lies about their competition.

Where o Where

- Some of the few providers, we saw, which do state only good facts in the
right context are sadly enough physically as a person located in countries,
where privacy means nothing and can usually be forced to cooperate
with agencies without a subpoena directed to them or their network
provider. They and their clients are basically sitting ducks
since some state they log their clients and all the info needed to
"visit" them is public to the world.

"Real" Company

- A few providers claim that because they are a "real" company
meaning they list an address and contact information they're
automatically trustworthy than those who do not list their
company / personal details.

Do you really believe that is true ? We don't but see this just as some more
sales noise to lure people in. Listing an address and company or personal
details does not make something automatically more trustworthy. Enough
reallife examples exist to not fall for that old one.

"100 % anonymity garanteed"

- There are plenty of providers which seem to be able to control the future
and present to garantee 100 % anonymity. They claim their service X or Y
is designed that they cannot see or intercept the data of their clients.
They throw alot of buzzwords and cryptic salestalk on you to make this
magic happen.

What they don't tell you is that as long as they as the owners aka
developers of any service they offer are also able to manipulate their
software / code to do what they want. This includes intercept / see your
data. It doesn't matter if it is network related or code related, as long
as they control the systems and software they can intercept / see the data.
Exceptions can be for example if you encrypt the data where you are
in control of the method to decrypt it or the receiver. Like using pgp
to encrypt a message and the receiver decrypts it with his secret key as
long as the secret key is not stored on a thirdparty system.

So what is my point here ? My point is that once you see the difference
between the facts and fiction that all things boil down to TRUST !

At the end you have to trust your provider one way or the other. The least
a good provider will do is inform the client correctly as sometimes lives
depend on it !

Numbers only

- Some of the so called major privacy providers boast and lean only on the
amount of servers they have and try to lure people in with free software.

Misleading technical sales

- A few providers don't understand the various ciphers used and
on which level they're working. They boast 2048 bits encryption
for OpenVPN but that is misleading since there are multiple ciphers
used at various levels from beginning to end using OpenVPN.

Point is, it demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding
of what they're offering. How can you ensure the privacy and security
of your clients if you can only install OpenVPN on a server ?

Location concentration

- Most of their servers are all located in the u.s/uk, the sole reason for
this is the cheap price and hope that the average joe from those countries
will close his eyes and be happy with the bandwidth. Some already have a
history where they handover logs to agencies on a fingersnap. What really
should ring an alarm is that one of them went down together with all their
servers for 24-48 hours, everything went black. When they came back they
never gave a reason for it nor did their support replied to people asking
what happened.

UPDATE: this provider doesn't exist anymore or is using a different name

Free software...

- Does free software replace privacy ? It doesn't, it would be a mistake to
fall for any service just because they give you free software in a world
which is flooded by good free software already.

Easy tagged server hostnames

- All their servers are tagged, they use recognizable domains which all lead
back to their service. It is easy for anyone to filter their servers making
it impossible for people to access their wished destinations like a forum,
blog, wikipage and so on. They don't bother giving a hard time to those who
want to censor people based on their ip/domain.


- Most VPN only providers offer vpn services based on the insecure PPTP
protocol. Despite changes and fixes made by microsoft to reenforce it it is
still not safe to rely on. You can google for this and find many reliable
sources which did an analysis of this protocol and point out how weak it is
to use. We've chose not to offer such protocol, it would be against our
principles which are still on the first place.

Few servers

- Most providers only have one or a couple of servers available and on top
of that they're located all in the same country. If they or their servers go
down then they have no alternatives or ways to survive any damage and
still cover their clients.

Betting on logs...

- Some claim they keep logs for 5 days and that a subpoena takes
much longer to reach them thus no logs will exist by the time it's there.
Do you want to bet your life and privacy on this ?

Encryption usage where possible

- We didn't yet encounter a provider which encrypts a major part of their
data so even if a server is taken unlawfully it would not make a
difference. Although we're, currently, the only ones who do this, it would be good if
more providers started to add extra security.

Uptime ?

- Some providers claim a 100 % uptime. The way they explain this is by
saying they have for example 5 servers and since there are 3 servers
up and 2 are down it is called 100 % uptime.

Country security

- Again a certain or probably more providers claim that in Panama they
are 100 % safe so clients can store all their data there. They forget
to mention that Panama has various treaties which make it nothing
special. It is better to offer more alternatives and more security than to rely
on an exotic country alone to lure people in.

Even more sales

- A specific provider also claims that their normal VPN blocks popups.

UPDATE: this provider doesn't exist anymore or is using a different name

Are you tired yet ?

- Again a few providers say the competition logs while at the same time
they admit they log too, for 5 to 30 days !

Last but not least...

- Some revert to slander, trying to damage the good
reputation of other good privacy providers.It seems if
they can't beat us or others they desperately spread
disinformation trying to manipulate people for their own good.

- Almost ALL claim that you are 100 % protected against
hackers, thieves and even earthquakes, figurely speaking.

Truth is, when it comes to your privacy and security it is
important to also educate yourself, keep your eyes open
and take care of your own environment on top of any
service. What they claim is like saying if you buy our
seatbelt for your car then you can drive and nothing
can ever touch you.


Much more can be concluded but we hope this makes enough sense
to make the right call. We mean with the right call that you do not
automatically choose our service but to objectively make the right
choice fitting your needs. No privacy provider is perfect, that includes
us too, but we can try to be better with every day !

Other good providers

There are several good providers outthere and they have our respect.
We sometimes even refer clients to them if we can't provide them with
the right solution. In some cases we cooperate with other reputable
providers to provide a custom service to clients.

This article is written and sent to several of our partners, resellers
and associates who do take your privacy serious. They're allowed
to publish it and spread it to people who need to make the right
call for themselves.

Privacy Group PT2
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