Can/Do You Trust VPNs?

Discussion in 'Serious Discussion' started by Katzenfreund, Feb 16, 2018.

?

Do you trust VPNs?

  1. Premium VPNs are fully trustworthy and anonymous

  2. At least my VPN is fully trustworthy and anonymous

  3. No VPN is fully trustworthy and anonymous

  4. VPNs only create a dangerous false sense of security

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    VPNs grant anonymity and privacy, also protection from hacking to their user. They can be used to bypass a government’s, ISP’s, company’s or geographic blocking. And of course protect from law suits for illegal activity like downloading torrents.

    The good ones charge subscription and assure privacy and no log keeping in their terms. So you can thrust them. Or maybe not so much?

    I’ve done some thinking and personal research on the subject.

    Firstly, if I were the NSA, FBI, CIA, MI6 etc, I’d set up a cheap VPN and monitor its users. Who’s to say they’re not doing it?
    Then there are always rumors about such authorities having access to specially made backdoors.
    And not so imaginary stories of spying apps planted by them.
    Or the service might get hacked.

    As an example:
    Snowden Docs Show UK Spies Attacked Anonymous, Hackers.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/invest...ies-attacked-hackers-snowden-docs-show-n21361

    But let’s look what the more honest of anonymising services say.
    TOR in its FAQs says:
    “There are plenty of subtle attacks people might try.
    There might also be accidental bugs in Tor that could affect your anonymity. We periodically find and fix anonymity-related bugs,
    Tor does not remove personal information from the data the user’s application sends.
    Note that there are situations where Tor fails to solve privacy problems entirely.
    If your IP happens to be an illegally used exit node, you can get into legal trouble without doing anything wrong.
    Exit nodes can eavesdrop on communications.
    Tor is a work in progress. There is still plenty of work left to do for a strong, secure, and complete solution.”
    https://www.torproject.org/docs/faq.html.en#Backdoor

    Also,
    Tor does not hide the fact that someone is using Tor.
    An adversary may try to de-anonymize the user by some means. One way is by exploiting vulnerable software on the user's computer.
    The bulk of the funding for Tor's development has come from the federal government of the United States.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tor_(anonymity_network)

    But what about VPNs?
    Taking the well known – and honest - Windscribe as an example, it says in its FAQs:
    Q: Will Windscribe make me 100% anonymous?
    A: Unlikely. Achieving complete anonymity online is extremely difficult if not impossible. Anyone who claims otherwise most likely has a pair of pants that are on fire. Windscribe will get you 90% there.

    And I’ve seen reports by VPN users who checked their anonymised IP using more sophisticated tests and their true IP showed thru.

    Finally, I’ve just come across this news story that prompted me to do the research:
    Facebook promotes a VPN under the Onavo brand that collects even more data on you
    https://www.techspot.com/news/73267-facebook-promotes-vpn-under-onavo-brand-collects-even.html

    So whom can you trust? What do you think?
     
  2. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    VPN itself is for privacy not anonymity, the latter needs more efforts.
     
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  3. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    You could attract attention to yourself by the authorities only because you are using a VPN
     
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  4. nodnar

    nodnar MDL Addicted

    Oct 15, 2011
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    you have to be extremely naive to believe that social media can be trusted.
    they can be trusted to do their damnedest to collect your data to spam you with creepy ads.
    that`s how they got too big to handle in the first place. i do not bother with social media, or vpns,
    waste of time.
     
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  5. Michaela Joy

    Michaela Joy MDL Crazy Lady

    Jul 26, 2012
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    I don't trust them at all. If there comes a time when I have to, then I'll just avoid the internet entirely.

    @nodnar: Yup. Don't make a mess and you won't have to clean it up. ;)
     
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  6. MS_User

    MS_User MDL Guru

    Nov 30, 2014
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    I used VPN in the past with no issues...but to think that your a ghost because your on a VPN is miss leading.
     
  7. dhjohns

    dhjohns MDL Guru

    Sep 5, 2013
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    I personally believe you are less conspicuous in a crowd. Comparatively speaking, there are not all that many VPN users, and just like TOR browser users, they are the ones who stand out in the crowd. If anyone is trying to do something illegal he would be the one trying to hide. The government would look for the people trying to hide rather than the people in the crowd!
     
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  8. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    I don't understand this. If you're not anonymous and they know who you are when you do something, how can you have privacy?
     
  9. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    Due to encrypted traffic there's no way they know what i'm actually doing :cool2:.
     
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  10. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
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  11. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

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    #11 s1ave77, Feb 17, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  12. Lemarleidyeisk

    Lemarleidyeisk MDL Novice

    Feb 17, 2018
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    I think they're okay for certain things but ofc not for something illegal
     
  13. gorski

    gorski MDL Guru

    Oct 21, 2009
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    Geo-blocking, for instance, is beaten by a proxy or VPN (I use a cheap https://www.smartdnsproxy.com)... Watch or DL anything you need, regardless of the location you seem to be in...

    Also, if you wanna download something without your provider knowing what it is... They may be actively preventing you to even see, let alone DL something and you can beat that...

    So, there is a point for having those services, straight off the bat... And then, on top of that, making it way more difficult to see what you are up to...

    Sure, one can't stop them from getting in if they really want to but I doubt "they" will go after everybody regardless... too many are doing it...

    Moreover, I am not involved in anything 'bad', hence I just use it for small things, like DL here and there...
     
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  14. ShiningDog

    ShiningDog MDL Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2018
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    i heard a story how a student who threatened to bomb the college in England, over internet with tor, got caught within hours by police. police just searched every tor uses in college and thats it.
    vpn + tor or vpn + jondonym should be used. single layer isn't enough.
     
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  15. secgeek

    secgeek MDL Novice

    Feb 8, 2018
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    It varies VPN to VPN, no hard and fast rule.