Over the last few years there has been an increasing push by governments and corporations globally to monitor and control the content that is being seen, used and downloaded on the internet. This has become painfully obvious with the recent Mid-Eastern conflicts. In most cases the censorship and monitoring is extreme, and very obvious, but in other cases the invasion into citizen privacy isn't quite as obvious.
In the US, there was SOPA, PIPA AND CISPA. In the EU it was ACTA. Fortunately all these draconian laws were rejected in the legislative processes. But in the US, the entertainment and internet industry corporations are risking the possibility of running afoul of the Consumer Privacy protections, and in the UK, the courts have already issued ISP's blocking and monitoring orders on specific websites. What is all this monitoring and blocking for? And just as important, what exactly are they looking at and recording? Well, Anti-Piracy, child pornography, and counterfeit drugs/products, are among the biggest items that are being sought out.
But, What Are They Monitoring And Recording
In the US, the ISPs that enlisted to monitor their customers activities and report possible illegal activities through the newly developed Copyright Alert System, (CAS,) claim that only file sharers, P2P, and Torrent users will be affected the most. They also claim that any information shared with the Center for Copyright Information, (CCI,) the authority behind the CAS, will be stripped of any information that could possibly identify the person, or customer. ISPs already collect every activity on the internet of every customer. Every website, password, log-in, instant message... all of it. They keep these records for a short time, mainly for law enforcement in a database that each of the ISPs have.
Who Has Access To This Database
Until recently, access to the customer information databases has been extremely limited. Access was granted to only the highest levels in the company, and then only when a warrant was issued by a court. But because of recent legislative and corporate administrative events, access to the database has been brought into question. FBI national security letter requests, and the lack of governmental oversight into the CAS has many people wondering what they can do to protect their right to privacy on the internet. They are concerned that more unscrupulous employees will gain access to the database and exploit customer information.
How To Keep Private Stuff Private
In the Mid-East, when the dictators closed the internet off, and started monitoring what little they left their internet denizens, they learned that VPNs, (Virtual Private Networking,) would cloak their activities. And while the VPN encoding could eventually be broken, it would take a lot of time. The rest of the free world is now slowly waking up to this fact. Using a VPN insures the privacy of the connection using encrypted dedicated tunnels, and many will encrypt the data payload... further insuring privacy. VPNs have been used for years by businesses to ensure their customers privacy, and now more and more, internet consumers have been turning to private VPNs for the same insurance.
Fields Marshall is a specialist in internet security, and advises many people and enterprises on VPN's, security related technologies, and other related services. He writes educational articles for VPNReviewz, to learn more, visit http://vpnreviewz.com/best-vpn-service-providers/