Watch Super Bowl on iPhone

by Mike on December 30, 2015

in iphone VPN

Super Bowl matches are very popular in the US. American football is a sport loved by most of the US population and the people living in the US could watch their favorite matches without facing any problem whatsoever. But, American citizens who are living outside their country would not be able to view them. Geographic restriction would prevent the internet users from watching their favorite Super Bowl matches when they are outside the US. NBC Sports broadcaster offers live streaming of the Super Bowl match to the US viewers. Smartphone application is also provided for internet users of the US which enables them to watch Super Bowl on iPhone. [click to continue…]

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Different types of VPN protocols

by Mike on December 26, 2015

in VPN

VPN service providers provide a highly secured internet network to the subscribers and this network is offered to the internet users by means of protocols. VPN service is utilized by individuals and businesses to obtain various features like accessibility, security, picture quality, data protection, limited data traffic, etc. All of these features provided by VPN servers are also based on the type of protocol network offered. Quality of features provided by the VPN would differ based on the types of VPN protocols. [click to continue…]

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AT&T and NSA Still Best Buddies

by Mike on December 18, 2015

in News

AT&T is in the hot seat again after an article came out in the New York Times about the telecom’s decade-long special relationship with the NSA. AT&T is still trying to deny their willing partnership with the agency, but newly revealed Snowden documents show that their help has been vital to NSA surveillance activities. And they may still be secretly maintaining the same affiliation up to now. This relationship could revive previous debates over the unconstitutionality of the NSA’s Internet backbone wiretapping project.

AT&T Has Been Instrumental to the NSA’s Spy Program

AT&T’s statement following the article in the Times, delivered by spokesperson Brad Burns, contradicts the accusations of willing cooperation with the NSA. The company says that any help given to government agencies is not voluntary, unless the situation is life-threatening or time sensitive. Burns also said that the telecom will not make any statement regarding issues of national security. This short statement sounds suspicious to us, like some kind of evasive maneuver. What really constitutes an emergency for them? How many times have conditions like these been twisted to suit the whims of agencies like the NSA? AT&T denies their enthusiastic level of involvement with the spy project, but the documents taken from NSA files clearly define the relationship as a very chummy one. And while Silicon Valley was outraged by the revealed spying and immediately began setting up encryption against it, telecoms like AT&T and Verizon kept mum and did nothing to ensure their users’ protection.

The documents show that the NSA was running a decade-long project in 2003 designed to tap the Internet backbone from within the US. To accomplish this, they needed powerful partners who had access to a ton of Internet traffic. The document shared with the New York Times by Edward Snowden shows two programs, Stormbrew and Fairview, which depended on the cooperation of unnamed companies. The Times along with the investigative team at ProPublica did a lot of digging and found a load of evidence proving that Verizon was the agency’s partner in the Stormbrew program, and AT&T was their key in the Fairview program.

Without a doubt, as one of the biggest telecoms in the country, AT&T has played a vital role in filtering the massive amounts of data coursing through them via the Internet on a daily basis. The NSA told AT&T how to process the data and send it to their servers for analysis and storage. And they did so at least until 2013, through the surveillance system that the two established together. AT&T has even set up at least 17 of their US Internet hubs with surveillance equipment for the NSA, and they were the first spy partners to test any new technologies introduced by the agency. The system is further described in detail in one document, a chart showing the network access permissions that allowed the NSA to see all the traffic that passed through AT&T – which by the way includes some traffic from other telecoms that comes through by peer agreements. Mark Klein, a technician at AT&T for 20 years, had actually testified to this way back in 2006. The case was a class action suit against AT&T under the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). His words did not get the attention they deserved.

AT&T is of course not the only telecom that has allowed the NSA to access their data streams. But they are under fire now because of how central their help was to the massive spy program and how the company so eagerly accommodated the shady requests of the agency. They were instrumental in allowing the NSA to spy on people through foreign and international communications that passed over their network. The documents detail the various ways that AT&T used to share billions of emails with the agency, and even how they helped the NSA to execute a secret wiretap court order that covered all the Internet communications of one especially interesting customer, the United Nations headquarters. AT&T was so helpful that in 2013 they got the largest NSA secret project budget by far.

What’s Really Wrong With Email Intercepts

As a side note, an explanation about spying on emails may help us to better understand why AT&T is being so viciously attacked. First of all, an email is not sent as is, whole and untouched, like regular mail is. Email, like other electronic communications, gets chopped up and sent in pieces known as packets. These data packets are then sent along via different routes through the Internet. So, when the NSA wants to get an email of a terror suspect for instance, they have to hold out a large net and collect a bunch of packets, including those for other people’s emails. That net is set up and monitored by AT&T, and the captured packets are filtered by them as well, then the resulting take is sent by them to agency servers. The way that these emails are collected and filtered is a violation of Fourth Amendment rights, and AT&T is happily doing all the dirty work.

AT&T is such a valued NSA asset because of its large network and peering agreements. This peering means that other telecoms are sometimes using AT&T’s network (and vice versa). It allows communications to be sent along the fastest available routes, like how traffic is redirected during rush hour. So AT&T actually has access to the emails of people who aren’t even their customers. Peering was developed to make Internet communications more efficient, but AT&T is using it to scoop up more data packets for the NSA.

Will the Courts Help?

The EFF has helped a lot of people to file cases against the NSA and companies like AT&T for their violations. Most courts are staying far away from these cases, claiming national security concerns. They don’t want to get caught up in the mess that is inevitable when dealing with accusations of acts that violate the constitution. Only the FISA Court will hear them, and this secret court is known for listening only to the government. In addition, all their decisions remain top secret. So far, the government has at least admitted that the NSA surveillance programs do infringe on Fourth Amendment rights, though only minimally. With this, the court dismissed much of the case that former AT&T technician Klein testified in, ignoring the points that the plaintiffs made on constitutional violations. The EFF will be presenting this latest evidence to the court anyway, hoping that the additional information will help move things along and that the government will not be able to protect their secret spy partners forever.

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Get VPN for Android

by Mike on December 3, 2015

in VPN

VPN service is utilized by internet users mostly for bypassing restrictions and to possibly get the best level of security and anonymity. Android OS based smartphones and Tablets are very popular and it is owned by many people all over the world. VPN for Android has become mandatory due to various reasons. All the different smartphones and tablets offered in the market do not possess security features and this makes users’ device and data vulnerable to internet threats and risks. [click to continue…]

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What makes VPN special?

by Mike on December 3, 2015

in VPN

Virtual Private Network offers quite a lot of features to the subscriber. Internet users could gain a lot of exciting features from the VPN service and all these features make VPN special. VPN service has an upper hand over other types of internet solutions such as proxies or DNS or any other option for that matter. Services provided by a VPN are very good and reliable compared to these solutions. Although most of the competition offers the service for free, none of them are as reliable as a VPN. [click to continue…]

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Top 10 benefits of using VPN

by Mike on November 23, 2015

in VPN

Virtual Private Network has been used by many internet users living in various countries and the main reason why the service has grown in huge demand is due to the benefits that it offers to the internet users. Individuals and businesses can achieve a lot from the services offered by Virtual Private Network. By understanding the benefits of using VPN service, internet users would know that VPN is the best online service available at the moment. Let us understand more about the various beneficial aspects of VPN. [click to continue…]

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Arguments for Open Internet Access

by Mike on November 15, 2015

in News

Starting on October 19th, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) began celebrating Open Access Week to generate awareness and support for the campaign to preserve and regain open access to content. EFF joined several groups including the international alliance of academic and research libraries SPARC, which works so that scholars can communicate more openly for better results all around. We support open access as well, or the belief that when research and other content of importance is made freely available online for sharing, we can all benefit from the spread of knowledge and ideas. This year, the EFF released discussions on a few open access topics of interest. We’ve outlined some of the more salient points below to help spread the word. [click to continue…]

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Australia Data Retention Begins Now

by Mike on November 15, 2015

in News

Australia proposed a new data retention law last March which passed in early April and today takes effect officially. ISPs in Australia will now have to retain the data of Internet and phone users by law. The two-year period for data to be kept by these companies poses serious risks for all users. Not only will the government be able to access all this data at any time and without the need for warrants, but the databases that will be filled with this data are going to be shared with third parties and are also just another target for hackers and scammers.

Metadata and Privacy

The Australian data retention law, Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention), requires all phone and Internet Service Providers to collect and keep the metadata of their customers for two years. From today, all the phone calls that people in Australia make and all the websites that they visit will be a matter of record that the government can look into anytime they want. Only metadata is being recorded, but this is enough to show who you talk to and exchange information with, where you spend money, and when it all happened. The exact contents of communications and interactions are not known, but metadata tells enough. Users can be profiled and matched with other users to create detailed descriptions of their behavior and associations.

These profiles that will be created expose users to unwanted scrutiny, which is a violation of privacy. It doesn’t matter whether these people have done anything wrong. Their lives will be tracked and filed from today, and this information will be made available to the government and a number of third parties as well. ISPs routinely share user information with marketing companies, for instance, so that ads can be created based on specific user profiles. So at the same time that users face mass surveillance threats, they are also facing more ads and a bigger privacy threat as more of their data is fed to advertisers. On top of all this, there will soon be databases full of metadata that will become targets for identity thieves and other ne’er-do-wells.

The bottom line is that metadata collection means users are being targeted by governments, corporations and criminals all at the same time.

More Suffering for Users

ISPs like Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are prepared to begin collecting user metadata with the help of the first installment of the $131 million Australian dollar fund for the project. These bigger ISPs will also have to do their part, but they are established and can carry the load. There is no news about how much of the burden will be passed on to users in terms of higher service fees, but it is almost a certainty that users will have to pay more to cover the costs of compliance with the data retention plan. There is also a general feeling that many small providers will be unable to continue doing business because of the high costs. This is of course bad for them but also bad in general because it will disrupt the balance in favor of big companies.

The metadata collected by those ISPs who survive will be put on databases that the government can search any time they feel like it. There is no need for the government to secure any warrants before they can access this user information, which makes it a very scary thing. With warrants, at least the government would need a good reason before they can snoop around in users’ personal lives. As it is, any agency can have a look without giving any reason at all.

Metadata Protection

If you live in Australia, there is no way to get around this new data retention scheme unless you plan on living your life completely unplugged, with no phone and no Internet. But you can prevent your ISPs from knowing what you are really doing online by using a VPN. They will still be collecting some metadata, but your traffic will be encrypted so that they cannot read it. It will also be sent through a private tunnel where they cannot follow. Whatever profiles they will be able to create based on VPN rerouted traffic will be insufficient and inaccurate. As far as phones go, there are many services that can encrypt your calls as well. Just be careful to make sure that whatever services you choose to use, they are not handing over your data to the government behind your back.

With the proper tools, you can stay in control of what information you choose to keep private despite the huge net that the Australian government has thrown out over the land.

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Free Proxy is not good – Why?

by Mike on October 30, 2015

in VPN

Internet users who are using free proxy services or are looking to obtain the services of a free proxy in the near future should understand the fact that free proxy is not good option. Since proxy services can be used for free, many internet users choose them for their internet needs. Free proxy is no way close to the features offered by a Virtual Private Network. Virtual Private Network is the best solution available for internet users and this truth would be understood by the internet users at the end of this article for sure. [click to continue…]

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What can you do with a VPN connection?

by Mike on October 30, 2015

in VPN

VPN service is used by internet users to achieve a lot of beneficial features. Virtual Private Network is mainly for those who are looking to get rid of internet restrictions and access all the websites they need. Business owners and professionals who travel to different countries or locations should be able to gain access and at the same time should stay secured. VPN connection can be used by internet users to get a lot of attractive features and all these features are discussed in detail. [click to continue…]

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