GDPR – What’s in it for you?

Finally, a political and economic organization, namely the EU,  is introducing a complete set of regulations meant to protect your data and privacy. Because you have the right to know how and why companies, websites and social media are using your data.

In the era of almost daily data breaches, GDPR – the new data protection law, should bring us more clarity and control. Never been a victim of any data breach so far? Just to make sure, do this small experiment and type you email address(es) to the haveibeenpwed website.

Discovered something that looks like the image below?

Don’t worry! Just take a deep breath and change your passwords. Use a password manager and set very long and complex passwords. You won’t need to change them except if your password gets leaked.

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The end of net neutrality knocks on our doors

Update, May 18th: 

Two days ago, the U.S. Senate has made a successful first step in the long battle towards restoring net neutrality. The Senate achieved a 52-47 vote in favor of an equal and open internet for all American citizens. Senators succeeded by invoking the CRA (Congressional Review Act) which allows them to revoke recent decisions of government agencies.

This is good news and instills hope for all Americans who opposed the FCC and have been fighting against the repeal of net neutrality. This is the result of the ongoing efforts of several organizations and activists that chose to not give up and defend their rights. And we applaud that!

Yet, as mentioned, the winning battle is just starting!

The next step: members of the House of Representatives have to pass their vote as well. To get a positive outcome, a full majority of House members have to support the reinstatement of net neutrality. If that will happen, the final move is for Donald Trump to sign and have the policy reversed. Everyone knows the White House always backed FCC’s decision in dissolving net neutrality.

But let’s not lose hope! Good things can still happen. Many probably didn’t dare to believe net neutrality is actually important for American senators. They proved they care. We should all continue to fight for it.

Here are useful resources if you want to follow more updates on this topic:

Update, December 15th: Despite everything, the inevitable occurred and the FCC’s final vote for dismantling net neutrality took place yesterday. U.S. ISPs have now full power to block websites, suppress services, and censor online content.

After the vote, it appears that several Republican voters declared to be against the resolution to put a stop to net neutrality. In addition, many attorney generals and state officials including members of the Congress plan to sue the FCC over the repeal.

The effects of the end of net neutrality will become official in a few months so maybe there is still hope.

However, CyberGhost VPN can still help you enjoy internet freedom like you used to and access any website you please.

As recently announced, the FCC had to come up with the final proposal regarding net neutrality until November 22nd. Yesterday, Ajit Pai announced that it will dismantle net neutrality rules, giving giant telecom and web companies full power on deciding what online content to deliver to their customers. Additionally, the end of net neutrality would mean that ISPs can either slow down or speed up web services at their own will. Clearly, only big companies will afford to offer the best connections to consumers.

FCC Chairman mentioned the new proposal would actually mean restoring internet freedom since it forces ISPs to be transparent on the costs they require users for each web service they provide. Customers can simply choose a service plan according to their needs and preferences. Basically, American citizens will pay different costs for a basic internet service and will have to pay more if they want to access music or movie websites, for example.

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World Press Freedom Day – spotlight on the media’s impact on privacy awareness

Right now, you’re online, reading what you chose you wanted to read. You have the liberty of leaving a comment on platforms, even if it’s a bad one. You’re lucky because in some countries, people can’t enjoy freedom of speech. Sometimes, the situation is even worse and browsing the web comes with certain restrictions such as geo-blocking.
A recent case of blocked service occurred at the beginning of April when Russia banned Telegram.
However, in the last years, we have witnessed several similar cases that are first of all, a threat to our basic human rights.
Join us in taking a moment to celebrate World Press Freedom Day. Here’s why we believe it’s an important and timely reminder for all of us.

  • EU’s plan on creating an anti-fake news law
  • Fake news vs. real news
  • 5 stories that uncovered some of the world’s deepest secrets
  • Simple ways to spot fake news
  • The need for “identifying fake news” educational programs

But what exactly is the meaning of freedom of expression today, when we have all been heavily bombarded with fake news through all media channels?

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Watch out for ICO scams!

We received reports that a website is using our trademark, brand name and our management and colleagues’ profiles with their current initial coin offering for the creation of a decentralized VPN powered by block-chain.

They call themselves the Vibranium Network and their website is as suspicious as you’d expect.

Robert Knapp, CyberGhost co-founder, warns: Read More

Russian Internet users cling to their privacy as Telegram ban is announced

Update, April 18th:

Just 4 days after Russia’s telecommunications watchdog banned Telegram, the organization has now blocked around 16 million IP addresses. The decision came as a response to Telegram’s move that transferred a part of its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud servers.

Around 1.8 million IP addresses that belong to Amazon and Google infrastructure are now blocked.

However, Roskomnadzor’s move has led to secondary unwanted effects since it also blocked other web services including online games, mobile apps or cryptocurrency services. Read More

7 Ways to look at the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal

Clearly, Facebook is living its worst time since its founding. Everywhere you turn and each webpage you open, you will see a different angle of Cambridge Analytica’s scandal in which Facebook had a leading role.

As Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg declared, Facebook suffered “a huge breach of trust”.

You probably realized a while back that Facebook is not just a “socializing” platform. But the backlash Facebook faces these days is clearly at one of its lowest levels.

Facebook deceived you and million others. What now?

Here is what Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg said after the Cambridge Analytica scandal:

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

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The best torrenting websites to use with CyberGhost

[ adapted after an original article written by Ulrich Brügmann on the German version of the CyberGhost blog ]

Torrents have always been a source of controversy, but this is unfortunately not a fully deserved bad reputation. Although they are best known as a means of distributing illegal content such as copyright-protected music or movies, peer-to-peer file sharing is also popular because the technology behind it has some considerable benefits.

Those who offer files through torrents thus distribute the required load of resources through a network of computers and thereby relieve the respective provider – which is why Linux files and other large types of documents are offered as torrents. Thus, instead of a single server that just goes down with new releases quickly, many individual computers take over the distribution and ensure noticeably faster download rates.

Even so, using torrents – or better, downloading files through torrents – is illegal in some countries. If not, their use is logged. Another downside: ISPs may take measures to throttle Internet speed when heavy torrent use is detected. Furthermore, they may choose to block certain torrent platforms.

Download torrents using a VPN

To avoid the above-mentioned disadvantages or unjustified warnings, it is recommended to use a good VPN for torrenting. Its purpose is to make you safe and anonymous online, but also to enable you to access regionally blocked torrent sites.

However, not all VPNs are appropriate for torrenting. Many block VPN traffic, just like regular Internet providers do, while others do not hesitate to close user accounts they suspect of P2P file sharing. This means that in spite of probably promoting the fact that they do not monitor their users’ traffic, these VPN providers actually do, otherwise how would they know the websites their users are accessing?

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