Category - Privacy & Security News

The fight against censorship continues: access Wikipedia with CyberGhost

After recently blocking access to Dutch-based online hotel booking platform booking.com, the Turkish government has now banned access to Wikipedia links. This came as a consequence of the online encyclopedia’s refusal to delete articles and comments that suggest the country is co-operating with “terrorist groups”.

Reportedly, Turkish officials have been in contact with the site’s administrators on numerous occasions to ask them to take down the disputed content, but Wikipedia has refused to comply.

The state-run Anadolou Agency in Turkey quotes Turkish officials from the Department of Communications as saying that Wikipedia has “has started acting as part of the circles who carry out a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena, rather than being cooperative in fight against terror.”

When attempting to access the webpage using Turkish internet providers, users received a notice the site could not be reached and a “connection timed out” error.

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Russia may start banning VPNs

According to certain online sources, the Russian government is working on a bill which requires VPNs and other anonymizing services to stop providing access to blocked domains. If they don’t, they will also end up being blocked. Search engines are also on the black list if they link to the banned websites.

This measure has been taken as a consequence of the fact that many Russians are trying to access censored websites with the help of VPNs, proxies, mirror sites and anonymity networks such as Tor.

The technical aspects of the bill were reportedly formulated by lawyers working for the Media Communications Union (MCU), a trade group established by the largest media companies in the country. The MCU has a particular interest in ensuring that web users do not bypass pirate site blockades by using anonymous web-based CGI proxies.

The new bill apparently lays out a new framework which will force search engines to remove frowned-upon links. Failing to do so could result in fines of up to $12,400 per breach, clearly a significant issue for companies such as Google and local search giant Yandex.

#Russia may ban VPNs soon. Search engines are also on the black list. Fines of up to $12,400 per breach! Click to Tweet

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Aussies, mark “Get a VPN Day” with CyberGhost

Starting today, Australian ISPs (Internet Service Providers) begin metadata harvest. The law forces internet providers and telecommunications companies to keep and store information generated by customers calling, texting or using the internet.

According to Australian digital rights activists “Digital Rights Watch“, this data collection program requires no warrants, has very little oversight and has received condemnation from human rights experts worldwide.

That is why today has been declared a national day of action or “Get a VPN Day“, an opportunity through which citizens can educate themselves about the scale of this surveillance and take all the necessary measures to protect themselves.

Starting today, #Australian #ISPs begin metadata harvest. Protect your privacy and get #CyberGhost VPN now! Click to Tweet

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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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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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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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WikiLeaks opens Vault 7, exposes CIA hacking tools

WikiLeaks has begun a new series of leaks on the US Central Intelligence Agency, code-named Vault 7.

The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, is made up of a massive amount of over 8,000 documents from an isolated, high-security network located inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina.

According to a press release from WikiLeaks, recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. Zero-day flaws are previously undiscovered vulnerabilities in software, which can be exploited to alter the behavior of a product and the WikiLeaks document shows that the CIA has built up a significant stockpile of zero-day flaws to use for surveillance.

“Year Zero” brings forth the weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into undercover microphones.

Here are some of the most important documents set to be brought forth by WikiLeaks:

 

iPhones, Android devices and smart TVs, the main targets of the CIA malware

It appears that the CIA has developed a software capable of spying on just about every piece of electronic equipment people use, from smartphones to routers and smart TVs. Thus, everything recorded by those devices, from deliberately sent messages, user location to everything we say or do near those gadget’s microphones and cameras can become accessible to the US intelligence agency.

Samsung smart TVs for instance get infected with the “Weeping Angel” malware, developed by the CIA’s Embedded Devices Branch (EDB). Weeping Angel places the target TV in a ‘Fake-Off’ mode, so that the owner falsely believes the TV is off when it is on. In ‘Fake-Off’ mode the TV operates as a bug, recording conversations in the room and sending them over the Internet to a covert CIA server.

Your #TV could be spying on you even when it's off. Find out how from the #WikiLeaks #Vault7 dumps Click to Tweet
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