Can You Trust The VPN Service?
VPN services can shield your identity from service providers, but can the VPN providers themselves see your identity? If so, can they be forced to turn it and your activities over to authorities when legally demanded to do so?
"We try our best to ensure that proper legal process is followed for all law enforcement requests," says London Trust Media’s Ted Kim. "Further, we do not know your IP address nor ask for any other private information about you when you sign up at Private Internet Access, except for an email address to confirm your account. While service providers may have your specific IP address, the systems Private Internet Access has in place makes it virtually impossible for a service provider to prove a particular IP address definitively accessed a separate destination point through our network."
What about in situations where a new deanonymizing tool arises, such as the brouhaha that blew up recently over Cisco's Netflow being able to identify Tor users with disturbing proficiency?
"IP traffic is very difficult to trace, but, given sufficient resources it can be done," says Kim. "However, there are ways to stay more anonymous and therefore be untraced if, by the same token, sufficient resources are deployed to anonymize oneself."
A note about privacy: TorGuard CEO Ben Van Pelt notes that one of the big misconceptions about privacy is the assumption that those employing it must be hiding something. "This statement couldn’t be more inaccurate," he says. "If this was true, then I assume just because you are a law abiding citizen there should be no problem with installing a camera in your shower. Pivacy is an essential human right, one that reinforces our very own humanity through dignity, freedom of speech and freedom of association."