According to an article written by Lifewire, torrenting (or BitTorrent networking) is the most popular form of peer-to-peer file sharing. For years, it has been the primary means of trading movies, music, software, and e-books among users online. It is favored by millions of users since it is extremely easy to use and does not require user fees.
Broadband privacy rules were created by the Federal Communications Commission which restricts internet service providers (ISPs) from collecting all their user’s information. Unfortunately, these rules have now been voted by the senate to be repealed. This means that ISPs can now collect personal information and sell these to the highest bidder, such as web browsing history, precise geolocation, medical records / health information, financial information (e.g. Bank account details), social security numbers, app usage history, and communication content (whether public or private).
Torrenting means that you are obtaining files using the BitTorrent protocol, and it downloads small bits of file from plenty of different web sources at the same time. This protocol was designed by programmer Bram Cohen in 2001 and has been utilized by millions of users every year since then.
As a new feature for Pixel and Nexus phones, tech company Google came up with Wi-Fi Assistant that comes with a built-in Google VPN service. This feature automatically connects the phone to any high-speed, open Wi-Fi hotspots nearby while securing an encrypted connection to protect your data. Even if you are connected to a public hotspot, you can still rest well knowing that nobody else can tamper with your data since the VPN is managed by Google itself.
Sometimes, VPN services can be a bit of a hassle especially when you have to manually turn them on and off every time you browse the internet. At times, you might actually forget to activate it and you could go online without any protection. Yikes! Don’t you just wish there were VPN services that automatically activate once you open your browser?
In this time of compromised privacy rights and government spying, having a virtual private network installed in your personal computer or mobile phone can really make a big difference. Google is probably the most widely-used search engine all over the world, and hackers are taking advantage of this to spy on people. Since most people do not wish to have their browsing history to be monitored, VPN services are becoming a common knowledge among internet users because of the security it provides.
A flaw among VPN protocols and operating system found by Perfect Privacy threatens to expose the user’s real IP address. This is not only restricted to VPN customers, but to Bittorrent users as well. Perfect Privacy, the VPN service provider which discovered this issue, found out that the dangerous ‘Port Fail’ could do the following: 1.) allow port forwarding, and 2.) leave any computer vulnerable to the attack. ‘Port Fail’ can affect all VPN protocols – OpenVPN, IPsec, PPTP, and L2TP – and can reveal the real IP address of a specific computer despite using a firewall, proxy, or VPN service.
With France and Germany taking measures against encryption by requiring telecommunications companies to build encryption backdoors in their private messaging services, another country has taken a similar step. Netherlands authorities seized two VPN servers from a reputed VPN provider, Perfect Privacy during September last year.
Although the purpose of virtual private networks and Tor is to safeguard its users from the prying eyes of hackers, scammers, thieves, and the government, a new landmark judgement from the United States Supreme Court has stated that users of these services can still be subject to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
In reply to the worrisome rumors spreading around social media websites that using Virtual Private Networks (or commonly known as VPN services) could get users fined or arrested, the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates said that there are no legislations against VPNs. Therefore, the use of these services by local and international companies is allowed in the UAE.