So I’m pretty recent to the high seas but I’ve seen a few posts now about “stop relying on your VPN” and “people that think VPNs will protect them are naive” and so on.

So since I believe knowledge is our greatest weapon/tool/super-power, can we get some answers regarding what exactly the doomsayers are getting at? ELI5 why VPNs wouldn’t protect your anonymity.

Is it about logging? The country your end-point is in? Something more technical?

Ultimately I’d like to be fully armed in order to keep making the best choices for my fledgling ship as it navigates the vast, stormy seas.

    • Uriel-238
      link
      8
      edit-2
      1 year ago

      Copyright infringement is not a crime [in the United States]. It’s grounds for a civil suit, but it looks really bad for Sony entertainment to try to bleed tens of thousands of dollars from a poor family trying to watch a movie they couldn’t afford to watch in theaters.

      Possessing or viewing CSAM is so severe a crime, you need a lawyer to dispose of it. To not do so is to stay in possession of it, which is a felony. To destroy it is destruction of evidence, which is a felony. Your only recourse is to stuff it in an unmarked box, and ask your lawyer to anonymously hand it over to the local precinct. It is essentially social toxic waste.

      ETA [rant] Note that a) Sony (and all the other major studios and publishers and record labels) gladly pirates IP that is not theirs, and also underpays the people that produce their content. And b) Sony freely engages in dark patterns and odious TOSes which is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to play Sony games in years. So it is actually more ethical to pirate Sony content (or again, that of any major studio, record label, publishing house or AAA game company) than it is to pay the company and support their ongoing abuse of workers, end consumers and the market.

      Also there is one thing you can do to them that is worse than pirating their content, and that is not pirating their content. [/rant]

      Edit: Specified that in the United States, copyright is not a crime. It can be a crime in other parts of the world (such as within the EU) and it can be treated as a crime in the US if a company is annoyed enough at you, and has done so to recover / stop the distribution of pre-release content. (A beta iPhone model comes to mind.)

      • @Obonga@burggit.moe
        link
        fedilink
        41 year ago

        I dont think the person you replied to talkes about morals but about legality. I do not know about the laws in your country but copyright infringement is a real crime that could allow the police to search my home and seize my devices. Nobody here would argue about csam beeing worse but that was not the point for sure.

        • Uriel-238
          link
          21 year ago

          If you’re in the US, the police can search your home anyway if it thinks it has cause to do so. Misinforming a judge in order to get a search warrant and permission for a SWAT raid is routine in the US, and just a matter of whether they’re looking to harass you and your neighborhood. Misuse of dubious informants is common. In this case, cause to do so tends to be more about assets that the officers can seize than sufficient crimes require intervention. US law enforcement likes big convictions, but it likes lootable money and assets even more.

          Normally, copyright infringement is not grounds to raid someone’s home, and while corporate lawyers will send nastygrams when your IP addy is found on a seeding list, that is not sufficient proof that a given individual in that house is responsible. Still, once the police decide you’re a bad guy they’ll look for something, anything to pin on you, and are allowed to lie to you in the process of investigation (or torturing a confession out of you), so shut up and ask to speak to your lawyer.

          In the UK, it appears the police are even less regulated, given parliament has sent brute squads to news agencies to dispose of embarrassing data.

          In both cases, it’s a matter of being too small to be noticed by law enforcement (or too expensive to media companies to prosecute).

          If you are a big enough fish, a media company will hire ICE (that is the US Immigrant and Customs Enforcement) which hires itself out as an all-purpose brute squad with police authority, when it’s not hunting for immigrants. ICE flew to New Zealand to Raid the Kim Dotcom estate in January 2012 (which we still hypothesize was less about piracy and more about a new music distribution system that was going to compete with the record labels). Note that the shotgun blast of charges against Dotcom didn’t include copyright infringement, but were ambiguous like espionage, conspiracy and violation of the CFAA all of which are difficult not to do if you’re a normal person on the internet.

      • SimplyKnorax
        cake
        link
        fedilink
        41 year ago

        I’m not against pirating, I’m all for it. But copyright infringement is a crime (it might not be the case for all countries though!) Companies might not necessarily act on it on an individual level, but they still can put pressure on ISPs to track this kind of traffic. Either way, it’s better to use a VPN than not using one just to be safe!

        • Uriel-238
          link
          21 year ago

          You’re right that I should have specified the US, and will edit my original comment.

          It’s not a crime in the US that has state-served sentences like fines or imprisonment, rather is a civil infraction. Granted, the media trade organizations like the MPAA and RIAA would very much like to make copyright infringement felonious, but that could easily lead to overenforcement and filling our already impacted prisons even more.

          I’ve heard the European watchdogs are more severe and will go after grandmothers who play radios too loudly regarding public performance regulations.

          But we’re in an era in which states are passing laws to make persons illegal or strip them of their rights, so we can’t rely on the state (any state) to fairly assert how their populations should behave, and Disney has been an IP-maximalist shit since the mid 20th century.

          So our respect of legality should only extend to what can and will be enforced. The Sheriff of Nottingham does not deserve our obedience. (Prince John neither)