Tag Archives: European VPN

EU Copyright Directive Approved: Catastrophic Results Ahead?

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the EU Copyright Directive. This controversial piece of legislation could lead to catastrophic results for Internet users in the EU. Two articles within the EU Copyright Directive – Article 11 and Article 13 – have been referred to as the “link tax” and the “meme ban.” While defenders of the legislation state the Directive will help stop digital piracy, many fear the effects of these new laws will be nothing short of Orwellian.

Nevertheless, the Copyright Directive is not yet law. The European Council, Commission, and Parliament still need to decide on a final wording, a process that will likely last until December 2018. Once that happens, the Directive will need to be approved one more time by the European Parliament in January 2019. However, Internet users in the EU should still focus on protecting their home networks from even more totalitarian legislation.

First and foremost, the EU Copyright Directive is a form of legislation limiting the use of copyrighted content on online platforms. Proponents of the Directive say that this will help content creators as users will no longer be able to share copyrighted materials. As a result, these proponents believe that content creators will be properly paid for the use of their copyrighted material.

However, the Directive’s opponents see a much darker scenario. Article 13 of the Directive, referred to above as the “meme ban”, states “online content sharing service providers and right holders shall cooperate in good faith in order to ensure that unauthorized protected works or other subject matter are not available on their services.”

The Best VPNs To Prevent The Government From Viewing Your Data

What can EU Internet users do? While using a Virtual Private Network will not prevent the “link tax” or “meme ban” from going into effect, it will protect your network from any snooping intruders, be they of the government or unlawful citizenry. Here are some of the most popular and trust worthy providers:

  • NordVPN – Use over 5156 servers from 62 countries around the world. Pay using bitcoin for maximum security. No logging and military grade AES 256-bit encryption!
  • ExpressVPN – Over 2,000 VPN servers in 148 server locations in 94 countries. Unlimited bandwidth, speed, and server switches. Recommended VPN service for China.
  • IPVanish – No logs! Own and operate their own servers. Over 40,000 IPs on 1,000+ servers in more than 60 countries! Recommended VPN service for the Middle East, including UAE & Dubai.
  • HideMyAss – Connect to a VPN server in seconds. Automatically chooses the least loaded server in a location to ensure top speeds.

Article 11: The Link Tax

Now, back to the specifics of the EU Copyright Directive.

Article 11 has been referred to as the “link tax.” Concerning Article 11, “information society service providers” (news aggregators like Google News) must provide “remuneration” for the “digital use” of “press publications.”

In other words, if a news aggregator site posts a portion of a news article, they will have to pay the publisher of the original article. Article 11 is not clear on just how much of the original article will have to be posted before the initial publisher must be paid. The most recent version of the bill does provide an exemption for “legitimate private and non-commercial use of press publications by individual users”. However, the idea of having to pay for posting a portion of an article should be disturbing for anyone who believes in a free and open Internet.

Article 13: The Meme Ban

Article 13 states that “information society service providers,” sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, which rely heavily on user-generated content, will be responsible for taking down content that infringes on copyright. A preceding version of the article mentioned the use of “content recognition technologies,” referring to a potential “upload filter”.

Furthermore, Article 13 has been referred to as the “meme ban” as many memes use copyrighted images. Defenders of the Directive believe that memes will be protected by parody laws. However, many believe the “upload filters” will not be able to distinguish between memes and other material.

Protecting Your Network From Draconian Governments

Best DD-WRT Wireless-AD Compatible Netgear Router - R9000 Nighthawk AD7200

There is not much that EU Internet users will be able to do to protect themselves from the Copyright Directive. Facebook, YouTube, Google, and other giants of the Internet will be forced to comply with the legislation if it passes. With this, users will be forced to comply as well.

However, this does not mean that EU citizens need to fall prey to any and all draconian Internet rules. Using a Virtual Private Network from a service like IPVanish or NordVPN on a FlashRouter (like the R9000 pictured above) will allow you to encrypt your entire network. While encryption will not be able to protect you from having content blocked by “upload filters”, it will be able to protect your network from any outside intruders, like the a snooping government or individuals with prying eyes.

In a world of ubiquitous Internet use, it is important to make sure your connections are secure and encrypted. Just as we remember to lock the door to our homes at night, we should do the same for our WiFi networks. While we may not be able to stop every totalitarian action placed by governments in order to limit our Internet use, we can still protect ourselves using a VPN.

The EU GDPR: What Is It And How Does It Affect You?

What is the EU GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation, or EU GDPR, is the most important change for European Internet data protection in recent years. This new legislation is four years in the making and will be rolled out on May 25, 2018. The EU GDPR will prepare a set of regulations pertaining to the collection, storage, and use of data.

What is The EU GDPR?

The EU GDPR is a new data bill that was passed by EU Parliament on April 14, 2016. It is replacing the Data Protection Directive, also known as EU DPD. Consequently, it will reshape the way businesses, organizations, and governments handle individuals’ data and online privacy.

The EU GDPR will create uniformity in Internet protection laws in order to provide “better protection” for its citizens. It will help protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy as well as reshape the way organizations in the EU approach data privacy.

The new law looks at data collected from two perspectives. These two perspectives are from the controller and the processor. The controller is anyone who is in control of the purpose, conditions, and means of processing data. On the other hand, the processor is anyone or anything that does the actual processing of the controller.

Three Key Changes of GDPR

The EU GDPR focuses on three key areas of data protection. These key areas are:

  • Territorial scope
  • Consent
  • Penalties

One of the biggest change in the regulations of data privacy will be the extended jurisdiction of the EU GDPR.

The EU GDPR also forces companies to use intelligible and easily accessible forms of consent. This includes the purpose of the data processing that must be done. Consent must also be easy to withdraw.

Harsher penalties will also be implemented with a tiered system. Violations will prompt penalties starting from 2% of annual global turnover to a maximum of 4% of gross turnover, or €20 Million.

EU GDPR Data Subject Rights

The EU GDPR includes some new data subject rights such as breach notification, right to access, right to be forgotten, data portability, privacy by design, and data protection officers.

These data subject rights will be revamped and revisited with the EU GDPR. These changes will ensure that individuals retain power over their data.

Some of these changes include mandatory breach notifications, open access to a copy of processed data, and new internal record keeping by new Data Protection Officers.

What The GDPR Means For You

Although this legislation is a step in the right direction, the majority of these problems can be addressed by a virtual private network, or VPN.

A VPN anonymizes and privatizes your connection to the Internet by routing your connection to remote servers. This prevents your data from being collected.

Top recommended VPNs for the EU include NordVPN,  ExpressVPN, and IPVanish.

Using A  VPN Router For Full Security Protection

Use an Open Source VPN Router

A FlashRouter is a specialized router that comes with open-source firmware as well as exciting.

This open-source firmware supercharges your home wireless routers by increasing speed, stability, and security. A key feature that open-source firmware unlocks is the ability to use your router with a VPN, effectively privatizing and encrypting your whole home network.

Check out some of our bestselling FlashRouters below!

Netgear R7800 DD-WRT FlashRouter 1.7 GHz Broadcom Processor
4 External Antennas
AC2600 Wireless
Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT FlashRouter1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 External Antennas
AC3200 Wireless
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter
1.6 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Internal Antennas
AC1900 Wireless

Here Comes Xbox TV! New Dashboard Updates to Unleash Mass Streaming Service Hysteria (and Hand Gesturing) For Xbox 360 Owners

The Xbox to Become the XCableBox?Microsoft has recently announced an Xbox Live dashboard update worldwide from now through 2012 that integrates many TV channels, video on demand and cloud services.

In the USA, additional access and new integration includes the likes of Hulu Plus, iHeartRadio, Today (MSNBC), EPIX, MLB.TV, HBO GO and ESPN in addition to already available services like Netflix and Zune among many others. Verizon Fios Subscribers will be able to integrate 26 channels into their Xbox 360 including Hd channels like BET, Cinemax, CNN, Comedy Central, ESPNews, Food Network, HBO 2, HBO, HGTV, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, TBS, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, and VH1.

UK users will receive major upgrades with the addition of BBC iPlayer, Blinkbox, Demand 5, and 4oD.

Similar services are being released in Canada including Rogers on Demand, Real Sports/LeafsTV, and DisneyXD.

Crackle from Sony will also become available in Australia , Canada, the UK and the USA through the Xbox360.

Geekenizer adds the following huge worldwide list as well:

“Within December, you’ll be able to use Xbox Live to watch … ABC iView (Australian Broadcasting Corp.); AlloCiné. France (AlloCiné); Germany (Filmstarts); Spain (Sensacine); United Kingdom (Screenrush); Blinkbox in the U.K.; Crackle (Sony Pictures) in Australia, Canada, U.K. and the U.S.; Dailymotion in 32 countries; iHeartRadio (Clear Channel) in the U.S.; Mediathek/ZDF (ZDF) in Germany; MSN om Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and the U.K.; MUZU.TV in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the U.K.; Ninemsn in Australia; TMZ (Warner Bros.) in Canada and the U.S.; TVE (RTVE.es) in Spain; UFC on Xbox LIVE (UFC) in the U.S. and Canada;… and YouTube in 24 countries.

In early 2012, the new services include Antena 3 (Antena 3 de Televisión); BBC (BBC); CinemaNow (Best Buy); DIGI+ (CANAL+) in Spain; GolTV (Mediapro) in Spain; HBO GO (HBO); MLB.TV (MLB Advanced Media); Telenovelas/Sports (Televisa); and Xfinity on Demand (Comcast).”

Microsoft is quickly making the Xbox360 the centerpiece of home entrainment systems worldwide, trying to maximize its capabilities/compatibilities while creating an integrated one stop shop for streaming digital music and videos services worldwide.

No More Lost Remotes!

In a move that will have people waving their hands and yelling at their TVs even more, you’ll soon be able to navigate through music, movies, TV shows and games with the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice using your Xbox360.

This news comes from many sources including a Washington Post report of a recent Microsoft demo for the Associated Press.

Of course the hand motion channel changing will require the Xbox Kinect and its highly intelligent motion sensing and recognition technology. Setting this up for your family could be make quite an interesting and hilarious holiday gift!

Prepping for the Cable Box of the Future

But for true high quality HD, you will want a customizable high-powered router that provides a strong wireless signal with a nice amount of strong antennas, that runs off high-powered Gigabit Ethernet (which provides wired speeds up to 10x higher than normal Ethernet connections) to get full High Definition that below par Internet speeds can prevent you from doing wirelessly.

And it won’t hurt to have an integrated USB port for Networked Attached Storage for creating a sharable media drive for your entire network. No more running out of space on the DVR if you have a 2 TB external hard drive instead. Create a stock pile of music and video for the whole family to share through your new DDWRT upgraded router like the Netgear Nighthawk R7800 or Asus RT-AC56U!

A new FlashRouter can simply be setup with a VPN service in case you want to take your streaming media on vacation or if you have to relocate to another country for business but can’t take your cable service with you. A VPN subscription will allow you to view content normally unavailable in your area from just about anywhere in the world. Forget boundary limits and enjoy the content that you deserve access to!