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Where we stand on Privacy

October 25, 2013

Over the past few years users have asked us a lot about Privacy and where we stand on the subject. This is a complicated answer but I will try to be as thorough as possible for our users in this post. While every VPN operator would love to assure you that you have 100% anonymity online (and many do) through their service, we feel that this level of marketing is deceptive and false.  It should be noted that for the most part this post applies to our paid and premium customers as we do offer a free/ad-supported version of our product for people looking for a “trial”.  

In general we believe we add a decent improvement to your privacy in the same way that anti-virus software adds additional protection to your computer. While its not perfect, it goes a long way in protecting you from harm. That being said, here is the more detailed answer:

1) We believe everyone has a right to privacy given that their activities occur within the extent of the law. We believe that there is a stark difference between anonymity and privacy and we don’t believe anyone can provide or obtain true anonymity online given the current state of technology.

2) We believe that the fundamental protocols that power the web (especially HTTP) are broken and given the right attention and focus all users can be monitored by nation states if those nation states so desire. To better understand this see projects such as “Panopticlick” from the EFF (https://panopticlick.eff.org/).

3) We believe true privacy from nation states can only be achieved with a fundamental change in legislative policy which requires more transparency and certain checks and balances to be in place.

4) We understand enough of the internet’s infrastructure to acknowledge that regardless of what country you live/operate in, the USA has tremendous capabilities in its ability to control traffic / your existence on the internet (The Department of Commerce’s control over global DNS is just one example). Just look at what happened to MegaUpload or See: New Submarine Can Tap Fiber Optic Cables

5) We believe that our role in this delicate environment is to:
A) Protect your privacy, to the extent possible, from commercial entities and creepy retargeting
B) To protect your privacy, to the extent possible, from malicious users or criminal enterprises attempting to exploit your digital identity
C) To follow and uphold the appropriate laws and due process of the United States when it comes to dealing with information requests and, to the extent possible, give you tools that provide a higher degree of privacy that’s available from just using your vanilla internet.

We will absolutely never honor requests for information that are not authorized by an appropriate court.

6) While clearly some three-letter agencies need to re-read the 4th amendment, we believe that the USA still has some pretty decent laws when it comes to operating a VPN provider. For example there are no laws that require VPN providers to keep logs. There is also a predictable legislative process that must be followed by law enforcement when requesting information from online service providers and we insist that these be followed when dealing with us. Finally, the USA still has a very “free and open” internet connection with very limited censorship when compared to a lot of other countries.

We realize that for privacy purists this is probably not the best answer, it is however an honest one and we wish that the nature of internet technologies would allow things to be different. We recognize that there are projects out there attempting to solve these issues but many of them are not scalable enough or fast enough for the millions of users that use our services. We believe in making small and steady steps towards progress in a way that provides scalability and is friendly to all consumers and not just technologists.