Sunday October 29, 2017
AI makes net secrecy impossible

Just lately I've been searching for a Virtual Private Network (or VPN) to subscribe to. VPNs are used to hide your internet traffic from people you don't want to see it, including major Governments.

Some people (most?) use VPNs to maintain their privacy. But that's not my idea. I don't care who sees what I write. I'm a journalist. I want an audience; even an audience of spooks.

Because secrecy is key for some of their clients, VPN providers go to great lengths to avoid detection, scattering their servers across the globe, basing themselves in places like Panama (if there are any places like Panama) and taking payment in the allegedly undetectable Bitcoin.

But if you search for a VPN you probably do it via an open channel on the internet. As a consequence, whoever it is who is monitoring you is well aware of what is going on. This renders pointless, the VPN's offer to keep no records whatsoever (presumably so that no court or government can force them to cough up the names of their clients).
VPN advert on Facebook

Facebook knows what I am doing and so an advert for a VPN (a good one, according to my research) has appeared on my timeline. So much for secrecy.

As it happens I don't care who knows what I'm doing. My objective is not privacy but to stop the hacking that has disrupted my computer system, cost me thousands of pounds and many thousands of hours rebuilding computers and protecting my archive.

Will VPN do this for me? Probably not. If systems like VPN were a cure all then I don't think Hillary Clinton's email server would have been hacked. Her IT team have certainly heard of VPNs and if I can afford the service, she can too.

So long as Governments turn a blind eye to, or even sanction, hacking, there is no complete solution. But that doesn't mean to say we victims should make it easy for the hackers.
Posted by Jonathan Brind.
Sunday October 29, 2017