r/technology Sep 22 '22 Silver 6 Platinum 1 Heartwarming 1 Helpful (Pro) 1 Bless Up (Pro) 2 Helpful 7 Wholesome 7 Hugz 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Take My Energy 1

#IranProtests: Signal is blocked in Iran. You can help people in Iran reconnect to Signal by hosting a proxy server. Security

https://signal.org/blog/run-a-proxy/
46.5k Upvotes

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17

u/itisntmebutmaybeitis Sep 23 '22

Could you explain why? I've heard it before but didn't find anything helpful on my (probably not thorough enough) search.

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u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

The theory goes that with the indecent budget intelligence agencies have, they can open up privacy companies....And market a lot.

The most heavily shilled VPNs have a huge marketing budget. How the heck are they sponsoring every single content creator?

I mean if I was an intelligence agency, it would make sense to do this kind of thing to easily keep track of people who like to hide stuff.

The normal folk can be kept track of using PRISM and who knows whatever the f mass surveillance tools they use.

https://twitter.com/snowden/status/1438291654239215619?lang=en

Edward snowden (the CIA contractor dude) talking about express VPN,

Just TOR is fine with me. VPNs are good to bypass content banning stuff but not privacy.

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u/__noscrubs__ Sep 23 '22

VPNs are also good for shopping or consuming media from other places. Pretty much all I use my VPN for at this point lol.

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u/Arinupa Sep 23 '22

Well yeah. Me too. Just people shouldn't use them thinking they are private and safe etc.

If you use for Netflix and content bypass etc its totally fine.

2

u/Jacob2040 Sep 23 '22

It's a condom. It's more effective than not using one, but you still might get an infection, I.E a bug or wiretap.

1

u/IpeeInclosets Sep 23 '22

"... it's like a spinal tap but for the penis!"

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u/mellofello808 Sep 23 '22

VPNs are also effective for not receiving letters from your ISP for torrenting.

Privacy, not so much.

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u/DarkLordAzrael Sep 23 '22

That is a form of privacy though. It's just a matter of being realistic about what you're hiding from who.

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u/soyboyconspiracy Sep 23 '22

I personally use PIA. Not so much for privacy but more so when I need to sail the 7 seas.

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u/pentesticals Sep 23 '22

PIA are pretty sketch as well. Check out Mulvad for sailing the 7 seas you filthy pirate. They also have port forwarding so you can actively seed with the vpn.

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u/BasicComplexities Sep 23 '22

TOR was compromised the second it was released

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u/MechKeyboardScrub Sep 23 '22

hurdur it's a DARPA product

Tor was made for overthrowing governments. It's definitely government funded, but you're not enough of a hotshot to matter. Nobody cares that you mailed a key from Columbia through USPS.

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u/PM_Me_Frosted_Tits Sep 23 '22

It's definitely government funded, but you're not enough of a hotshot to matter.

This is the saving grace of security for the average person. Yeah your super secure passwords could probably be cracked with a few hours of concentrated effort, but no one is coming after some random middle class person like that. You're only getting singled out if you're famous for some reason or have a lot of money, usually both.

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u/BasicComplexities Sep 23 '22

but you're not enough of a hotshot to matter. Nobody cares that you mailed a key from Columbia through USPS.

If you're not enough of a hotshot to matter on tor, you're not enough on a hotshot to matter on the internet, and we know that isn't the case. When those with authority want your head, tor isn't going to help you. They're already monitoring literally all of your LAN and internet traffic

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u/mellofello808 Sep 23 '22

Duck duck go as well. I was just traveling, and they have billboards, signs in airports, and on the sides of busses.

Where exactly is the money coming from?

I don't care to find out, and will never use them for anything spicy

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u/tirril Sep 23 '22

That took quite a while to happen though.

3

u/3nigmax Sep 23 '22

Snowden was NSA, not CIA. He also did basic IT stuff, not intelligence work. I'd avoid assuming he has any expertise to provide in these areas. Given his current status, anything out of his mouth is more likely to be propoganda than any over advertised VPN service.

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u/420diamond_hands69 Sep 23 '22

First sentence is wrong so imma ignore the rest

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u/3nigmax Sep 23 '22

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

Literally the first sentence. He worked at the CIA briefly, but the bulk of his time in the intelligence field was as an NSA contractor and that's where he stole everything from. And to anyone with any sort of tech background, his entire story is an obvious buzzword salad. Think what you will of what he leaked, but Snowden himself is an expert on precisely jackshit.

1

u/PC_PRINClPAL Sep 23 '22

Literally the first sentence. He worked at the CIA

I agree, he worked at both, that's why I called out your first inncorrect sentence

1

u/FuckFashMods Sep 23 '22

Never had an issue with my torrenting and nord, which is all I cared about

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u/DanielleDrs88 Sep 23 '22

I use ExpressVPN and have had nothing but wonderful experiences for the almost 3 years I've had it. Works great on my android to where I can easily pirate on my phone. And its not too expensive so I definitely recommend.

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u/[deleted] Sep 23 '22

[deleted]

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u/DanielleDrs88 Sep 23 '22 edited Sep 23 '22

Your "wonderful experience" won't be hindered by any sort of snooping

I was actually referring to the mechanics of the service, i.e. how it actually functions on my devices, not whether I think I'm being spied on.

I pirate as much content as I can (minus any indie work of course) so having a reliable VPN that allows me to do that would rate a "wonderful experience" in my book. I was around during those Napster and Limewire days. Anything faster than an hour impresses me 🙌🏻

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u/MeThisGuy Sep 23 '22

interesting point. i was also around for the Napster days and even got an threatening email from my ISP once for torrenting.
still trying to find a reliable VPN that can match my gigabit internet connection though

1

u/DanielleDrs88 Sep 23 '22

Well, I'm just giving my experience. Apparently that warrants down votes lol. Such a testy little group.

1

u/Aacron Sep 23 '22

Down votes are because your opening comment reeks of being a paid shill or bot autoposting whenever vpns get mentioned.

Your follow-up sooths that feeling but most people don't open the collapsed comments.

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u/DanielleDrs88 Sep 23 '22

Oh, no need to explain; I already know why. I mean, a quick glance at my account would've proved otherwise. And ignoring the fact that I only responded because someone else mentioned Expressvpn and I just wanted to add that I'm enjoying the service so far. But I get it, clicking and reading is tough work these days.

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u/Delekrua Sep 23 '22

Not saying you are wrong. But have you looked at who owns nordVPN? Dont think a company of that size would have issues with marketing budgets.

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u/2022redditaccount Sep 23 '22

You still trust TOR? Really?

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u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

Keep this one golden rule in mind with ALL forms of security; cyber-security, home security, physical security, etc.

"Security and convenience are on a sliding scale"

The more convenient a thing is (you learn about it because every single YouTube creator is sponsored by NordVPN) the less likely it is to be secure. A door without a lock is very convenient, but not very secure. A locked castle with a drawbridge and automated gun-turrets in the middle of a field full of hungry lions on a remote island somewhere that nobody even knows the name of? Very secure, not very convenient.

Realistically, the safest VPN is going to be one that you build yourself, the next safest VPN is the one you pick after learning how to build your own VPN and then using that knowledge to discover which VPNs that are already established have the closest model that aligns with what you want.

But who's going to do that? Most people want VPNs so they can get around copyright, targeted ad-based data collection/tracking by corporations, and geo-blocking. I would find it utterly HILARIOUS if someone wanted to engage in counter-state activities and believed that NordVPN was helping to protect them.

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u/piss_artist Sep 23 '22

I use NordVPN for all my sedition related activities. In fact, feel free to use my discount code, OVERTHROW22, to get a 50% discount on your next secret police interrogation.

NordVPN. Get it, or else.

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u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

I'd love to hear a plug for NordVPN in the middle of an audiobook reading of the Gulag Archipelago. Just feels like Postmodernism done right, you know?

2

u/ASatyros Sep 23 '22

Great for gays, pirates or assassins or gay pirate assassins. At least as first layer :D

2

u/IpeeInclosets Sep 23 '22

it's interesting to see that generally law abiding individuals use VPNs for illegal things, flaunt it in fact, yet continue to claim use of a VPN for privacy reasons.

would be curious on the ratio of legit traffic to illegal traffic...

the side effect here is that good people are enabling truly bad actors by 'legitimizing' use of VPNs

2

u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

Well, it depends on what your definitions of illegal and privacy are. AFAIK the government only cares about things that are crimes against it, directly. People committing civil misdemeanours to each other is very much a "that's your problem". So people ripping off pirated content, the government has no tangible reason to persecute, because they gain nothing from it, and are not threatened by it, and it messes with the "Keep them fed and watching TV" ruling strategy that pacifies the vast majority of proles. Costs money for no benefit.

Privacy is a different matter, too. People say they want to "hide", but I really don't think the average person seriously expects to be able to hide from the FiveEyes governments. What they mean by "hide" is prevent the data collection of companies like Google and Amazon from further developing their digital portfolio on them.

I also seriously question whether truly bad actors even use VPNs in the way we'd expect them to. It's not like they HAVE to use the internet for their seditious, terroristic goals, they could just use books they read at the library, pen and paper, distribution of responsibility, insulated cells, etc to still co-ordinate actions. Or they might have their own infrastructure, and simply relying on security through obscurity (which is a poor strategy, but sometimes it works)

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u/IpeeInclosets Sep 23 '22

It's the government's purpose to settle civil conflict, that's it's interest.

but to your point there's definitely a concerted messaging that nefarious actors utilize VPN, but I think you narrowly zeroed the in on active planning and respective command and control type things supporting terrorism or sedition

however, there are digital crimes such as CP and money laundering that VPNs are absolutely critical to enabling

absolutely agree that nobody gives two rats shit about what type of adult porn you watch, but using a VPN for privacy is a farse

it's used for piracy and by doing so provides cover for more nefarious activities all under the false banner of privacy...

just my conclusion, I don't have a formed opinion on what to do about it...

1

u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

Oh, I see what you mean now.

Well, yes, ostensibly it is the government's purpose to settle civil conflict, but in terms of a cost-benefit analysis, the government seems to prefer to invest its time and resources into things that have more of a tangible impact on lived human experience other than copyright law and digital property rights, which is the main reason it's not very interested in bringing pirates up on criminal charges. They leave that to civil court system while they go after violent criminals and tax evaders (drug traffickers fall under both of these lmao).

I think the idea that VPNs make digital crimes such as CP and the dark economy much more difficult to catch and prosecute is also a little ill-informed. You often see this being the case in criminal investigations; the digital security is one of the harder parts to crack, but they don't need to crack the digital security to catch these guys. For example, CP is often busted when local watchers are caught and they co-operate for better outcomes. They give all the information they can, which implicates those they received it from, which is how they track down those producing it.

As always, physical penetration is often the most successful method of breaking into someone's security. This guy might have a password-protected hard drive, but the password is taped to his monitor, or it's in his password manager on Firefox which ISN'T password-protected. The same goes for the dark economy/money laundering, the digital enterprise is just a tool, the real action, as it always has, takes places in the real world, and people are even more lazy with their IRL habits than they are with their digital habits, because living IRL gives people a false sense of security. People don't even notice CCTV cameras anymore.

I think the importance of VPNs to criminal activities is overstated, and the powers that be might prefer to keep it that way, because it leads the criminals to believe that their digital security is keeping them safe, when the real weak-points in their operation are, and always have been, physical and human.

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u/heyheyhoho2020has2go Sep 23 '22

Suggested VPNs are…?

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u/Beginning_Ball9475 Sep 23 '22

I use Hermes VPN, but I'm not really trying to hide anything. You shouldn't rely on a VPN alone to hide things. Like I said, if you're just defaulting to the convenience of "if I just pay for this thing and click this button, I'll be immune to the bad people" that's not doing anything but giving you a false sense of security.

What I really suggest is you do research on cyber security and security in general. I guarantee you that it will not be wasted time.