Protecting against possible ISP snooping by using a VPN and https

“The Obama Administration created a new set of restrictions on Internet service providers (ISPs) intended to define more clearly and explicitly bar greater use of our information that ISPs could conceivably gather, store, and sell,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld. “A Congressional joint resolution may be signed by President Trump by the time you read this that prevents those new rules from going into effect. The status quo remains.”

“With the new rules rejected and a friendlier FCC chair in place, there’s legitimate concern that ISPs will ramp up efforts to use our browsing habits and behavior to sell to marketers to better target ads against us, to create new ISP-operated targeted advertising systems, and to have information available to release to the U.S. government without the requirement of a warrant,” Fleishman writes. “Many well-meaning people immediately suggested a host of different ways to block your behavior from being tracked, but some of them don’t increase your privacy—and could, in fact, reduce it.”

Fleishman writes, “Let me look at what’s most effective and what you should avoid.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As per the Congressional joint resolution, as we wrote last month, “Google’s loss of influence over the U.S. federal government is a Very Good Thing™ for competition.” (See related articles below.)

We use TunnelBear’s VPN service (especially while using public Wi-Fi) which lets you choose from servers located around the world in 20+ countries. TunnelBear offers unlimited data for $49.99 billed yearly which is less than $4.17/month. TunnelBear explicitly states, “No logging. TunnelBear does NOT log any activity of users connected to our service. Period.”

Privacy 101: Why you need a VPN – March 31, 2017
Why Congress’s rejection of proposed FCC data rules will not affect your privacy in the slightest – March 31, 2017
Congress to US citizens: Online privacy isn’t dead, those who want it will just have to pay for it – March 30, 2017
U.S. Congress sends repeal of FCC broadband privacy rules to President Trump for signature – March 29, 2017
Congress votes to repeal FCC Internet privacy rules – March 28, 2017
U.S. Senate votes to overturn Internet privacy rules – March 23, 2017

Under President Trump, Obama ally Google may face policy setbacks, including roll back of so-called ‘net neutrality’ rules – November 18, 2016
Google’s Eric Schmidt wore staff badge at Hillary Clinton’s ‘victory’ party – November 16, 2016
WikiLeaks emails show extremely close relationship between Clinton campaign and Google’s Eric Schmidt – November 1, 2016
Congress launches investigation as Republicans claim Obama had ‘improper influence’ over so-called ‘net neutrality’ – February 7, 2015
Eric Schmidt-backed startup stealthily working to put Hillary Clinton in the White House – October 9, 2015
Google outfoxes U.S. FCC – April 17, 2012
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011
FCC cites Android ‘openness’ as reason for neutered ‘Net Neutrality’ – December 22, 2010


      1. There are two situation I can think of where it’s not transparent and things don’t work.

        1) The server is going to get the IP address of the VPN. These IP addresses are mostly known. As a result if you’re accessing a server with a known VPN IP address, and they don’t want you accessing it through a VPN, you can be intentionally blocked. This is common among some cross-international connections.

        2) If you’re using an app, that app can either bypass the VPN connection or refuse to use the VPN connection. A great example of this is Sonos. The controller app won’t work directly with a VPN connection. You need to second-hop it if you want to do this.

  1. “MacDailyNews Take: As per the Congressional joint resolution, as we wrote last month, “Google’s loss of influence over the U.S. federal government is a Very Good Thing™ for competition.””

    Of course, the people lose their rights to corporations. Then they have to run to another corporation and pay to protect their privacy. It’s a win-win so say the freedom crying republicans.

  2. There’s never been a tool that was more connected to our thoughts, dreams, whims, associations and vices like an internet-connected computing device. It’s absolutely become an extension of our minds . . . . whether it be an interest, an obsession, a human interaction or even a perversion, where we “go” on the Internet says more about us than we probably ever really stop to think. And the only way to take advantage of all it can be for us is to hire a company that connects us, and by doing so knows us. Each argument on every side of this is fascinating. That all said, business interests should be but one slice of pie in this debate . . . . . . and if there was ever legislation regarding a particular industry that means more to the essence of what it means to be a modern human being, this is it. It should be vigorously debated and thoughtfully packaged into law.

    1. Perhaps all VPNs are not created equal?

      I’m connected to Toronto (private internet access), 4,700 miles away and I rarely notice it’s on. Ran a speed test and got:
      Ping 140ms, Down 61.81Mbps, Up 5.41Mbps.
      90%+ of my contracted speed promised by the ISP.

      Maybe the experience is different down in Yoknapatawpha County on DSL? Of maybe even a 56K dialup modem!

  3. And with a VPN, won’t all those logins that know our home IP address need to be done AGAIN? This can apply to 2FA where the site remembers us and we don’t have to use 2FA each time. And if the VPN routes us through another Ip address the next time, we’ll have to do the 2FA again. Insanity!

  4. … And don’t forget the Cookies!

    Tracking cookies follow you everywhere, giving away your position on the marketing battlefield.

    For Macs, I highly recommend that app ‘Cookie‘ by SweetP Productions. It’s available both direct from the developer and at the Mac App Store. Highly configurable with excellent cookie removal scheduling. I never net surf without it.

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