Archive - March 2017

Booking.com to be blocked in Turkey, according to court order

A Turkish court has ordered the travel website Booking.com to be blocked in a dispute with the country’s main travel agency association, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press (quoted by ABC News).

The Anadolu Agency reported that a commercial court in Istanbul ordered the move against Booking.com as a “precautionary measure” while the case is ongoing.

Lawyers for the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies had argued that Netherlands-based Booking.com was engaging in unfair competition in the marketing of hotels in Turkey.

Anadolu said that government authorities are expected to block access to the website as soon as they receive official notification from the court.

If you're in #Turkey and booking.com is blocked, access it for free with #CyberGhost Click to Tweet

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How your IP keeps you exposed online

An IP (short for Internet Protocol) address is a unique string of numbers assigned to your device when you connect it to the Internet. To put it plainly, an IP address is very similar to a physical address, just that it identifies you online, not offline.

This IP address is kept by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) until you disconnect from the Internet. Some ISPs may assign you with the same IP for months or even years, thus rendering you very easily identifiable online.

So here are 4 reasons why you should hide your IP (a.k.a. your online identity) in 2017 and not let others sneak a peek into your private life:

  1. Just last year, in Great Britain, the Investigatory Powers Act a.k.a the Snoopers’ Charter was passed into law.
  2. In March, the US Senate has enabled Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to sell their users’ most private data – their web browsing activities.
  3. The huge increase in smartphone use and the growing demand for free public WiFi networks, which are incredibly easy to hack, leaving our most important data (such as credit card credentials) exposed.
  4. On top of this, people have decided to spend large amounts of money on gadgets that can record everything they do around them, just check the latest WikiLeaks revelations.

Basically, in 2017, it is becoming legal for the government and ISPs to spy on people around the world.

That is why more and more people should consider using IP-hiding tools such as VPNs (a.k.a Virtual Private Network or, simply put, an app which renders you anonymous online).

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Why a VPN should be your best friend online

We live in turbulent times. Back in the day, the Internet was created to be enjoyed equally by anyone, from anywhere in the world. Nowadays, “this content is not available in your country” keeps popping up more and more often.

Furthermore, what we do online seems to have become everybody else’s business. While we do not like it when neighbors eavesdrop on our conversations, we should be just as bothered if someone, be it our Internet Service Provider, the government or a hacker, is looking into our private data.

If you connect to public WiFis a lot, your most private personal data, such as mail or credit card credentials, can be stolen in mere minutes.

Did you know that there’s a way to stop others from spying on you and access restricted content?

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The end of an era? ISPs get green light to sell users’ web history

The US Senate and Congress have both voted to eliminate broadband privacy rules that would have required ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to get consumers’ explicit consent before selling or sharing web browsing data and other personal data with advertisers as well as other companies.

 

ISP now stands for “invading subscriber privacy”

… in the words of senator Ed Markey, a Democrat.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted along party lines to repeal Internet privacy protections that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission just days before Donald Trump won the election.

The rules, which had not yet gone into effect, would have required Internet service providers to get the person’s permission before collecting and sharing personal data on everything from web browsing history to geo-location information.

Providers would also have been required to notify customers about the types of information collected and shared.

But on March 23rd all this turned into a mere dream. The Senate prevents all of these rules from taking effect, unless the House or President Trump decide otherwise. And we strongly doubt the latter would happen.

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A message to Ghosties all around the world

“I’m not going to leave the company, I’m staying on board. I guarantee with my name that we will not track you down, and we will continue our mission to bring privacy to your life!”

After having just announced the Crossrider aquistion on the TechHub Bucharest stage, Robert Knapp, CEO of CyberGhost, took a moment to address & reassure Ghosties from around the world. CyberGhost is not going anywhere, we’ll only get better! Your private digital life is safe with us.

Now the mic goes to Robert. Here is what he had to say to CyberGhost users and fans (we were lucky to catch him right right before journalists and techies started assaulting him with questions):

CyberGhost joins the Crossrider group

Dear friends of CyberGhost,

In 2011, I started the CyberGhost company in Bucharest, Romania, together with a small team of 7 dedicated and very enthusiastic young people who took on sales, marketing, and  administrative roles. We also had 2 developers in Germany. We only had a little bit of money in our account, but we had a bold vision: we wanted to change the way people access the internet, because we believed that privacy and security must go together. That was it. That was all we had in our humble beginnings: a good team, a great idea and a lot of enthusiasm.

Now, 6 years later, I can only  conclude that the CyberGhost story was incredibly successful: we built one of the world’s leading VPN services with 179.000 paying subscribers and more than 1.5 million active users a month. We offer this service free of charge to those who are in urgent need of privacy and we deliver amazing Premium features to our paying customer base, who – in most cases – thus show their support for our mission to bring online privacy back.

We grew from a very small team of 7 to a 7 times bigger team of 50 digital freedom enthusiasts who are right now fully dedicated to build the best VPN service out there. We still operate from our headquarters in Bucharest, Romania while the technology continues to be “Made in Germany” in our growing R&D center in Übach-Palenberg, near Aachen, Germany.

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Torrents and political media, the world’s most censored digital content

It’s no secret that censorship thrives around the world. An updated map of global Internet censorship in 2017 has recently been published by a hosting website and by simply giving the statistics a look, one can see that torrents are by far the most frowned upon online. This kind of censorship is probably the only one to occur in those generally regarded as democratic countries.

It’s easy to understand why torrents are the ones to suffer various forms of censorship around the world. Copyright-protected materials such as movies, music or software licenses are probably the main source of income for everyone involved in their creative & development process and piracy would only come in the way of profit.

Other reasons for this type of censorship include a so-called state-enforced morality, which implies that citizens are not capable of deciding what’s good and what’s bad for them. This kind of justification not only refers to the censorship of torrents, but also to social and political media.

Worldwide, the list of Internet censorship looks as follows:

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