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VPNThere is nothing new about us being under attack.

Source: Essence.com

From #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, to the Women’s March, Black women and girls have used social media to elevate pressing social issues and drive change. But that platform – to which Black people are only recently gaining equal access – is imperilled by Trump administration policies that may erect burdensome restrictions to internet use and fair access.

AND THAT IS NOT ALL.

Source: ACLU

A recently leaked FBI “Intelligence Assessment” contains troubling signs that the FBI is scrutinizing and possibly surveilling Black activists in its search for potential “extremists.”

The report, which the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division prepared, identifies what it calls “Black Identity Extremists” as security threats. Their “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans … will very likely serve as justification” for violence against law enforcement officers, the report claims. Today, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Center for Media Justice seeking other records regarding the FBI’s surveillance of Black people on the basis of a supposed shared ideology, including records using the term “Black Identity Extremists.”

Thanks to GDPR you may need a VPN

Privacy is all the rage in 2018.

Source: mozilla.org

In 2017, the U.S. Congress rolled back Internet privacy rules, giving service providers free reign to track, store and sell browsing data. In July, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a warrant to DreamHost, asking for a list of everyone who visited DisruptJ20.org — a site used to plan protests at President Trump’s inauguration. Both events raise important questions about online privacy, and many consumers are turning to Virtual Private Networks (VPN).

Yikes, right? Right!

Hello GDPR

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) padlock on European union flag

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

What? Read more here.

Definition of VPN

Source: dictionary.com

Virtual private network: a system or technology that uses a public network, usually the Internet, to transmit encrypted data between a private network and a remote authorized user. When you connect to a VPN, you create a secure, encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN remote server. The data is essentially gibberish to anyone who intercepts it. Your ISP, government or hackers won’t know which websites you visit. And conversely, the websites you visit won’t know where you are.

I repeat:  the websites you visit won’t know where you are.

How do you pick a VPN provider?

Source: mozilla.org

It may be tempting to turn to a free VPN provider, but many simply don’t deliver a great experience. Some sell your data (anonymized) to advertisers in order to survive. Other VPN services run ads. Some may be free and secure but are painfully slow.

It can also be tricky to pick a good paid VPN service. For example, a provider may offer secure connections and ultimate privacy, but a limited number of server locations. Your browsing data may not be as anonymized as you’d like.

Here are some questions you should ask when considering a VPN provider:

  1. What kind of data, if any, does the VPN provider collect about your browsing?
  2. How long does it keep this data?
  3. Are there any restrictions?
  4. Where are the VPN servers?
  5. How do you pay for the VPN service?

That last question can be really tricky. If you pay for the VPN service with a credit card or PayPal, how private will it be? If you’re after ultimate privacy and security, look for a service that accepts payment from anonymous services like Bitcoin.

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