In response to high demand TUVPN have launched a NEW VPN server in the UK!
We are offering Shared & Dedicated IP services on this new server.
You can access the server immediately using: london3.tuvpn.com
Alternatively you can reinstall your OpenVPN Client and you will have it in your VPN Server menu. New servers will automatically appear in our L2TP and PPTP client menus.
The NEW London Server comes packed with the usual TUVPN Features to provide you with the best VPN experience on the Net!
Please note that P2P file transfers are not supported.
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has organised the e-G8 forum, and has invited personalities like Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive of Amazon and other famous and powerful names in the circle of Internet and media.
Participants of the forum are going to discuss issues such as Internet regulations, the influence of the Internet on society and economy, protection of Internet privacy, protection of copyright and the right to web anonymity. The results of the event will be reported to the G8 Summit, that opens in Deauville later this week.
The delegates have different opinions about governmental regulation of the Internet. Google and Amazon consider the interference of governments to be unacceptable, because it violates users’ rights. European companies, on the other hand, think that it is necessary to control the Internet in order to eradicate cybercrime.
In a speech given last year, Nicolas Sarkozy showed his vision of the problem: "The Internet is the new frontier, a territory to be conquered. But it cannot be like the Wild West. It cannot be a lawless place, where people are allowed to pillage artistic works with no limits".
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The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, made up of a representative from the data protection authority of each EU Member State, released a document with recommendations about the protection of users’ privacy. The recommendations appeared soon after it had become clear that Google and Apple were storing location information on their customers’ devices.
The Article 29 group is responsible for data protection in each EU member state. Its recommendations can be accepted in some of the EU States or the whole European Union. Moreover, they can influence USA as well. But it is not compulsory to accept and follow their recomendations; the final decision depends on the local governments.
The report says that companies can store their customers’ private data only when they get the users’ consent to do so. Also, people should be “continuously warned” of when and with what purposes their sensitive information is used. It can help avoiding “secret monitoring”. According to the recommendations, users should have an opportunity to remove their data, “without any negative consequences to the use of their device”.
Recently, the South Korean authorities have accused American corporations Google and Apple of comitting privacy breach, and have sent them a questionnaire that includes questions regarding the duration and frecuency of the location information storage and their permission to collect data from their customers. The questionnaire also asks why the location data was stored in the iPhone and the Android smartphones, and why the actual data was unencrypted.
As we have already reported, Google and Apple are storing location data about their users. The companies can allegedly use this information for marketing purposes.
The answers to the questionnaire have already been received. To review them, the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) set up a committee formed by 16 members. The members are government officials and representatives from academic, engineering and legislative circles.
“We will release the committee’s decision after taking a look at the related laws, technologies and administrative procedures and reporting it to KCC's Chairman, Choi See-Joong,” said a representative of the KCC. If the committee decides that the companies are in violation of the country’s privacy protection laws, they will be subject to operation bans or fines.
Spain's Data Protection Agency wants Google to wipe away links to material on about 90 people. All these people claim that Google is making sensitive information about them widely available by means of simple searches, and insist on their "Right to be Forgotten".
Much of the information about the Spanish plaintiffs remains veiled to protect their privacy, but the case of plastic surgeon Hugo Guidotti mirrors the heart of the matter. The first link in Google searches points to the site of his clinic, but the second one takes users to a story about a woman who sued him for a breast operation gone wrong.
The making of a final decision on some suits may take a lot of time because appeals can be filed to higher courts. But in the nearest future the European Commission is going to create a law that will allow people to delete personal information that they posted earlier online. It will give the Spanish complainants the opportunity to win an action.
However, Spain's case is not the first for Google. The company regularly receives requests to withdraw links to sensitive information from its search index, or to place such links in the back pages of the search results. As a rule, Google rejects them to protect the integrity of its index.
Artemi Rallo, director of the Spanish Data Protection Agency, predicts that the "Right to be Forgotten" will become "much more important in the future. Google is just 15 years old, the Internet is barely a generation old and we are beginning to detect problems that affect our privacy. More and more people are going to see things on the Internet that they don't want to be there."
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Yahoo is going to change its storage policy and keep information about its users’ search queries for 18 months. The new course of action will take effect in July this year. The company will inform its users about these changes during the next four to six weeks.
Just three years ago, Yahoo accepted a 90-day storage policy and was an ardent supporter of protecting internet privacy. Its data keeping period was the shortest one in comparison with other companies such as Google (stores data for nine months) and Microsoft (six months).
Anne Toth, Yahoo’s chief trust officer, explained why the company decided to change its policy: “Over the last three years, the way us and other companies offer services online, and the way consumers experience the Internet has changed dramatically. So, we will keep our log file data longer than we have been — offering consumers a more robust individualized experience — while we continue our innovation in the areas of transparency and choice to protect privacy.”
Specialists call for the company to abolish the changes and consider the new Yahoo policy to be a gross violation of people’s privacy, because search data could provide the company with sensitive information about the customers. They also think that Yahoo could use the stored data for mercenary ends. Moreover, the new company policy could contravene the current European Union data protection directive, that allows search engines to keep personal information for up to six months.
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Lately, digital rights activist group Electronic Frontier Foundation has prepared a report that studies the protection of users’ privacy given by IT corporations. It looked at twelve companies and found out whether they inform their customers about government requests for user data and whether they defend users' privacy in courts and in Congress. Among the companies on the report we can find Apple, Amazon, AT&T, MySpace, Skype, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others.
Apple, MySpace and Skype are amongst the companies with the lowest degree of customers’ private data protection. They are not members of Digital Due Process, an organization fighting for protecting internet privacy. And moreover there are fuzzy claims in their user agreements that allow them to disclose private information to the government.
According to the report, Apple's customers are the least protected. Their privacy statement runs as follows: "We may also disclose information about you if we determine that for purposes of national security, law enforcement, or other issues of public importance, disclosure is necessary or appropriate." They do not enumerate specific cases when users’ private data can become available, and that gives them much freedom to act.
Twitter and Google are the best in protecting customers’ privacy. Twitter defended its users’ privacy rights in court and Google created a site that contains information about data requests from the government.
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A class action has been filed against Google for invading the privacy of people who use Gmail. Apparently, Google has been scanning their emails with the purpose of finding advertising opportunities. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Texas this month, March 2011. Google is accused of studying and capturing the contents of every email sent and received through Gmail with the aim of targeting advertisement campaigns.
Kelly Michaels, representing a class of persons in the same situation, argues that Google scans the content of every email sent through Gmail without asking for the users’ permission. The lawsuit states that the emails' content is being analyzed to find identifying keywords. Based on this information, Google then targets the users with appropriate advertisements.
The lawsuit aims at protecting Internet privacy and Web anonymity. It is asking the court for a permanent injunction against Google, and requests that Google pays a compensation of $100 a day for each violation committed.
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