Ghostie’s Weekly Digest: Britain passes Snooper’s Charter and more

To paraphrase a Bob Dylan song, the times, they are a-scarying! Not only did Donald Trump win the US elections, which could have a major impact on global online privacy issues, but Great Britain and Russia are making efforts to catch up by rubber-stamping new surveillance laws. Here is the most important news of the week on the online privacy front, in a nutshell:


Privacy-invasive law gets the green light in the UK

The Draft Communications Data Bill, a.k.a the “Snooper’s Charter”, was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.

With May as prime minister, on Wednesday, November 16, the bill was finalized and passed by the Parliament.

The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer’s top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments. On top of this and more worryingly, the law gives intelligence agencies the power to citizens’ computers and devices.

Do you live in Britain? Maybe you should consider installing CyberGhost VPN for free in order to protect your online privacy.

Russia to start blocking LinkedIn after court ruling

Russia’s communications regulator ordered public access to LinkedIn’s website to be blocked on Thursday to comply with a court ruling that found the social networking firm guilty of violating a data storage law.

LinkedIn will be blocked in Russia within 24 hours. One Internet service provider, Rostelcom, said it had already blocked access, according to Reuters.

LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities, setting a precedent for the way foreign Internet firms operate. It has over 6 million registered users in Russia.

The times are a-scarying! Britain passes Snooper’s Charter, Russia starts LinkedIn ban and more #OnlinePrivacy news Click to Tweet

US Government releases IoT security guidance

In response to recent major DDoS attacks leveraging botnets of compromised smart devices, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released new guidance documents and principles aiming to improve IoT security.

The DHS release is aimed at manufacturers, services providers, developers and business-level consumers while NIST’s much more detailed document targets manufacturers/developers with guidance on how to engineer safer products.

 Snowden warns of social media news monopoly

In light of Trump’s election, many fingers have been pointed at Facebook’s potential contribution. There have been voices accusing the network’s promotion of fake election news to the detriment of real stories, an idea rejected by Mark Zuckerberg as “crazy”.

Regardless whether these allegations are true or not, during Fusion’s Real Future Fair, Snowden criticized the centralization of power in the sphere of social media, warning that such a monopolization can lead to dangerous consequences,

His solution:  federalist vision of Facebook where numerous interconnected Facebook sites exist and can all propose their own rules.

About the author

Corina Dumitrescu
Corina Dumitrescu

A professional wordsmith, Corina has improved her writing skills through extensive experiences in journalism, advertising and marketing. Curious by nature, she enjoys learning foreign languages and discovering everything, as well as everyone around her.


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    • The Investigatory Powers Act will empower the government to have complete control over its citizens by accessing any personal data on them. However, it does not mention the use of VPNs. Romania actually has a constitution that favors its citizens privacy so there will be a long time before any kind of VPN will be banned. Thanks for your feedback 🙂


    According to a news report published on Best VPN by Douglas Crawford, a recent update on CyberGhost VPN’s Android and desktop’s software included new features, such as ‘Block Malicious Websites’, ‘Block Ads’, and ‘Block Online Tracking’. Once you enable these, though, CyberGhost will install a root certificate into your computer’s system, which is a bad news for your security.

    According to a news report published on Best VPN by Douglas Crawford, a recent update on CyberGhost VPN’s Android and desktop’s software included new features, such as ‘Block Malicious Websites’, ‘Block Ads’, and ‘Block Online Tracking’. Once you enable these, though, CyberGhost will install a root certificate into your computer’s system, which is a bad news for your security.

    However, CyberGhost clarified that the last version of their software (CG5) did make use of the Fiddler Root Certificate in order to block ads. CG6, the latest version, though, no longer supports this and does not install a root certificate, and that “all filters are now server side and do not touch HTTPS”. This is a relief to CyberGhost VPN users, but the fact that they used to install root certificates is a bit suspicious.

    Root Certificate in a Nutshell

    DNSimple defines a root certificate as “a certificate issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA)”. When you visit a HTTPS website, it establishes an encrypted link between the server and the browser. And to do this, the website must present your browser with an SSL certificate that has been authenticated by the CA. Once the browser is presented with the said certificate, it will recognize the website as genuine and secure. An indicator of an HTTPS website is the padlock icon in the address bar next to its domain name.

    • Hello. First of all the original info comes from here and if you look carefully it has been updated: UPDATE: As has already been noted, a root certificate is not installed by CyberGhost 6, the latest version of CyberGhost’s software. The source you provided did not consider all the data.
      That original text was written without checking with us before if it’s true or not. The update was made after checking with our CTO. Even more, this is their latest review
      Nevertheless, CyberGhost has gained its users trust over the years so we believe that our actions and services easily prove that trusting us depends on your understanding of what is more important for your privacy and security. We hope this clears things up and if you need further information don’t hesitate to reach out. For technical inquiries is always best to contact our support team. Thanks!

  • Hullo, New to this VPN stuff.

    Question. I live in the UK. If I change my IP to run through the UK server in Cyber Ghost, can my ISP track and store what sites i visit? Basically, does the fact Cyber Ghost has a UK server mean my ISP can track/store all traffic though there?

    • Hello! If you use CyberGhost you are safe because your IP will be hidden and the IP provided by us is secure. Your ISP will only see an IP from CyberGhost, nothing that reveals something on you. As we don’t keep logs and we are based in Romania, we don’t have any data on our users that can be revealed to the UK government. For more information you can read our privacy policy Thanks for reaching out!

  • Have you been approached by any governments yet for backdoor access? Is there any way of implementing this on my mobile? Also, as someone from the UK who is just about to feel the brunt of May’s ridiculous legislations, I thank-you.

    • Hello! Before moving CyberGhost to Romania it has been a case in Germany where information was required, but as we do keep to our no log policy we had nothing to provide. And then CyberGhost was moved to Romania where we are safer. This is why we are the only VPN company to provide a transparency report that shows the number of abuses we have to handle. Here you can read more about our Privacy Policy and here you can find our latest transparency report (we’ll have a new on for 2016 at the beginning of 2017) We can assure you that you’ll be safe with us, even though you are in UK. As for the mobile, we have the iOS CyberGhost app available. Look for it in the App Store. We also have the app for Android, which will be updated to the same version that is now on iOS. If you need further information please let us know. Thanks for reaching out!

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