Random Notes

Avoiding the Electronic Police State No.5

Posted by mfluch on May 18, 2009

I am living in the UK which is currently ranked in this study by Cryptohippie as the 5th under the worlds electronic police states (the UK is only exceeded in this field by China, North Corea, Belarus and Russia). I am not much surprised by this ranking. But reading this ranking gave me the final push to think about doing something about it.

Just recently I thought what to do about it and got the following idea: why not to try out one of the many public VPN services which are out there? So what did I do? In my case I moved my connection to Switzerland (which is ranked on place 30 in the same report). It doesn’t cost much (5USD for a month which is about the price of a good beer and a package of chips here  in the UK) and is set up easily in less than … 5 minutes!

My first VPN provider I tried out is SwissVPN. And things look very promissing. Their system works so far reliable without any problem. The payment was very comfortable done with Paypal after which I got a usrname and password via e-mail in a few moments. And from there the set up was done with a few clicks on my iMac. No additional software neede, also not under Windows nor under Linux. And their network is quite fast, too. For most of my everydays needs it is enough.

So now all my internet trafic from my computer leaves my home in an completely encrypted and uncontrolable manner and flows to Switzerland and noboy in the UK can listen or monitor or analyze what I am doing. I don’t have anything to hide, but I don’t feel like wanting people to violate my privacy. My internet trafic enters the Internet in Switzerland and the rules and customs of this country apply. And these rules and customs are much more favourable than the UK ones.

So what can one learn from this? With 5USD a month (no subscription, just pay as you go) and with no technical hassel I can evade the control and monitoring of the UK. Any filtering done in the UK is rendered useless and does not affect me. Any monitoring activities of the state … stopped to work for my communication. And this without the need of any special system requirement and without much hassle. Any person can do this, not just me!

If for some reason SwissVPN doesn’t suit my needs anymore I can always change to an other public VPN provider. There should be a lot of them around in the world, nothing can prevent me using this standarized technology. Recently more and more often politicians try to control the internet habits of their voters. For the greater good they say! Even China has recently congratulated some western countries for their new achivements (and a year ago people were so upset about their censorship)! An questionable honor that is, but still it shows where we are heading to.

And yet … these the blocking atempts in the name of the greater good are impossible to work and (as one can see from my current sollution) very very easily circumvented. Do we really want to head towards the status quo we have in China at the moment (and which doesn’t help the Chinese government much)? Do we?

And why do our politicians push so much for these laws despite all experts in IT technology state that this is a completely uneffective and worthless measurement just hiding the symptoms (but not helping against real problems). What is the reall motivation of our politicans? What is the driving lobby behind their unwillingness to hear the arguments of proper experts?

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