ibVPN on Banning Anonymization Technology

Anonymization technology is a very useful tool for security in today’s Internet environment. Yet governments remain bent on limiting their use because some have abused these technologies for criminal gain. The debate between keeping these tools to help people protect themselves online versus banning them to curtail illegal practices is a tough one to decide.

VPN Anonymization Technology

Hacking and spying are two very real dangers that stalk Internet users all over the world. So far, it has been VPN technology that most have turned to for help in shielding themselves against data breaches and invasion of privacy. Online scams and data hacking has become so prevalent that it is difficult to do anything online without worrying about being infected with malware or about who is watching.

There are so many different hacker attacks in play and so many varieties of malware that even the best antivirus companies are having trouble keeping up. The development of criminal techniques is so fast that many fall prey to these miscreants before security specialists can develop methods to protect Internet users. So many users have realized that they need an extra layer of protection to stay safe during these times that their systems are left open to attack.

With the news about what the NSA is capable of, we have learned that our normal activities online, even what we thought was password-protected, are really no longer private. Our emails, private messages, website visits and more are easily accessible to those who have the tools. Setting up VPN anonymizing technology is really the only defense that many have against what they consider to be attacks on their privacy.

For others, privacy can be an even more serious matter. There are activists and reporters around the world who daily risk their lives to bring us the truth about human rights violations and political crimes. Other individuals who witness various atrocities and are brave enough to speak out also need protection. Their efforts cannot be sacrificed and we cannot allow them to continue without the benefit of the security that VPN technology can provide.

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Government Attempts to Ban Anonymization Technology

Securing data and privacy are legitimate and very necessary uses for VPNs and yet more and more governments worldwide are seriously considering legislation to restrict their use. Most recently, Russia is preparing to set up a ban on Tor, and the Swedish police are petitioning to get permission to access encrypted communications to prevent abuse. In Sweden, cybercrime units need legislation that allows them to access encrypted services so they can combat serious crimes like child abuse. But the problem is that innocent users will also be affected. In Russia, Tor was identified by a civil movement as a tool used by child abusers. The movement is not in agreement and prefers that the authorities work with Tor to catch these criminals. But the authorities have opted not to deal with complicated cybercrime legislation and instead ban anonymous networks from the Russian controlled Internet completely.

Undoubtedly, powerful anonymization technology can be misused for criminal gain. But the question is whether or not innocent Internet users should suffer because a few thieves and swindlers are abusing the technology. Many believe that the online security and privacy rights of millions outweigh the dangers of a few criminals abusing the same tools. With or without VPN technology, these criminals will continue to find ways to attack people online. Surely people must have tools to shield themselves against online crime, especially when governments are unable as yet to aid them through alternative security methods and proper online crime legislation.

Some have argued that mass surveillance is the easy way to weed out criminal activity. But online privacy and security cannot be compromised just because of a lack of more convenient options. And the activities of the few should not be a basis for judging the rights of the many to protect themselves. Governments have repeatedly state that national security requires that citizens give up certain freedoms and rights. They explain that access to our personal data and communications is a way to keep us safe from terrorism and organized crime.

But there must be other ways, and most people do not agree to giving up those rights and freedoms. Especially when surveillance activities have been conducted in secret, there is little hope of future cooperation from those who feel violated. Most people who use VPN and other technologies for data encryption are not criminals and do not have anything to hide. Taking precautions to preserve data integrity and privacy has just become a habit for many. Connecting to a VPN is just a safety measure that makes people feel safe online.

Throughout history, the good guys have always exercised restraint because going all out against criminals will get innocent people hurt. And in cases where crime rates are high and police crackdowns are necessary, it is not uncommon for innocent people to take extra precautions. They are not guilty, they are just afraid that they might get caught up in the mayhem. And when the police can’t catch the criminals, the people should always have the right to defend themselves. The environment today on the Internet is no different.

It has never been easy for governments to draw up legislation that covers how to deal with online crimes. Repeatedly they have had to deal with debates on the scope of data sharing and decryption. There is just so much room for manipulation that people feel nervous about agreeing without more specifics set down. Many worry for instance that these laws can be used in the future to hunt down human rights advocates and whistleblowers instead of real criminals.

The battle we all face now is finding a happy balance for everyone. Governments need to have the power to catch real criminals without curbing the Internet freedoms that people enjoy and without compromising the privacy of innocent users. Allowing the government to access data is not a problem for many. The problem is that many worry that governments cannot be trusted to be judicious and responsible with these powers. Many doubt that they will treat with respect the other data that is caught along with that of the criminals.

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