UN Considers Internet Access to be a Human Right

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The United Nations (UN) assume that Internet access is an inalienable human right and consider  that to be disconnected from the web is a violation of human rights and international laws. A report of the UN Human Rights Council’s 17th session says that Internet gives people an opportunity to exploit a lot of human rights and that it favors the progress of humankind.

La Rue, a Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, claimed that “the Internet enables individuals to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds instantaneously and inexpensively across national borders”. That’s why he considers an Internet cutoff to be unacceptable. 

Internet restrictions are necessary and justifiable in such areas as child pornography, but in many cases governments use blocking or filtering mechanisms to achieve their own hidden agenda. According to the report , it  should be an independent judicial authority or body who defines the scope of Internet censorship.

La Rue is deeply concerned that Internet users have only relative web anonymity, because governments can monitor and collect private information about them. This intervention violates people’s right to online privacy and smashes Internet security.

The report also incites governments to include trainings on Internet literacy in school curricula, because it can “help individuals learn how to protect themselves against harmful content, and explain the potential consequences of revealing private information on the Internet”.


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How to Unblock VoIP

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VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is used for communication worlwide. With the help of VoIP you can stay in touch with your business partners, as well as with your family and friends. VoIP services are extremely popular among people from different countries, because their users can save money. It is cheaper to make calls using VoIP than through a mobile phone.

Nevertheless, there are countries where VoIP services are banned. Among them are United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Belize. And there is a valid reason for it. In many countries, governments run telecommunication companies, and it is obvious that they don’t want to lose the income that they make from international and domestic calls.

In India, it is legal to use VoIP, but it is illegal to have VoIP gateways inside India. In the UAE and Oman, it is illegal to use any form of VoIP, to the extent that  Skype and Gizmo5 websites are blocked. Providing or using VoIP services is illegal in Oman. In the Republic of Korea, only providers registered with the government are authorized to offer VoIP services.

Many people ask on forums how to unblock VoIP calls in their countries.

A lot of users from the countries listed above consider that using VPN services is be the best way to bypass restrictions. Internet restrictions are usually based on the IP address. A VPN connection gives you an opportunity to surf  the Internet anonymously and hides your real IP, so you can browse blocked websites and use banned services including VoIP. A fast VPN is the most suitable if you want to make VoIP calls, because it provides better communication quality.


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New Internet Censorship in Iran

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The Iranian government is going to impose a so-called national Internet aimed to substitute the global network. This new form of censorship can lead to the detachment of the Iranian cyberspace from the worldwide one. The government  of Iran claims that the new national Internet will help to preserve Islamic moral standards and to cut down the consumers’ expenditure.

At the beginning, the national network will work together with Internet and some large companies will still have access to both of them, but gradually the Internet will be displaced. Ali Aghamohammadi, Head of Economic Affairs, has recently declared that national Internet will become "a genuine halal network, aimed at Muslims on an ethical and moral level". It means that the network will not violate Islamic laws.

Moreover, the reports of the local press say that Windows will be replaced with a new Iranian operating system. Iran is also going to create its own alternatives to popular websites and e-mail services; for example Ymail will substitute Gmail.

The current situation in the country causes alarm for many users, especially those who browse the Internet for business purposes every day. They think that to impose a national Internet can affect their current relationship with international partners. People are afraid that they will not be able to bypass the new form of censorship, even with the help of the best VPN services.


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Protect your Facebook Privacy

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Facebook gives people a unique opportunity to stay always in touch with their family and friends. But on the other hand, it also enhances the chances of scams set up to steal the users’ sensitive information. That’s why it is better to protect your account properly, if you don't want to become victim of identity theft. Luckily,  Facebook lets us adjust our privacy settings so we can be more protected.

According to the latest changes in Facebook's privacy policy in May 2010, the social networking site divulges your personal data including your name, profile picture, gender and networks and makes it visible to all users. You can’t hide it, but you can still protect your photos and other sensitive information from being accessible for everyone.

It is wise to restrict your private information to "Friends Only" or "Only Me" until you decide that you want it to be accessible. If you don’t want to share all the information with some of your associates, make them "limited friends" and they will be able to access only a cut-down version of your profile. Moreover,  you can always remove friends if you don’t trust them anymore.

Consider browsing Facebook with the help of a VPN connection, whilst using wireless public networks. It will protect your account from illegal access from third parties. The usage of a fast vpn connection provides  you with reliable protection and it won't cost you a lot.


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How to Protect your Online Privacy

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Online banking and shopping have become an inseparable part of many users’ lives.  For these purposes, many people enter  their personal data online, such as account numbers and logging details. But there is a threat  of this information being misused by hackers. That’s why it is crucial to protect your private data. Here are some tips on available solutions for protecting  your internet privacy.

One of the most reliable ways is to use a VPN connection, that secures data transmission by creating a tunnel between your device and the network that you are accessing. It is important to choose one of the best VPN services, because they provide their customers with high-end web anonymity and secure internet browsing, as well as good access speed.

It is also a good idea to have privacy software installed. It is able to prevent hackers’ attacks, it provides browser cleaning and detects malicious software. The best privacy software can defend your computer from loggers that can steal your logging information whilst you type it in. Moreover,  it protects your privacy by removing cookie trackers that are used to purloin private data.

Good quality software protects your personal data, not only during internet browsing but also when you are not online. It will warn you when you are visiting an unsafe site that could intercept your private information during a login and deletes your internet history. Besides, it will detect spyware files on your computer and neutralize them.


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How to Access Social Networking Sites Safely

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Nowadays a lot of people can’t imagine their life without social networking sites. For many users it is the favorite way of communicating online with their friends and relatives. Social networking sites make it easier for people all over the world to stay connected. But in spite of many advantages, they enhance the opportunity for hackers to steal users’ private information.

It is recommended to tune in privacy settings to minimize the chance of data theft. However it will not protect your account if you are accessing it with public Wi-Fi. Many public places such as cafés and airports offer their customers free Wi-Fi connections that are very convenient to use, but that on the other hand can threaten your online security.

Protecting internet privacy is the main reason why a lot of users prefer to protect access to their accounts with the help of VPN. VPN service providers offer their users hotspot security  by encrypting the transmitted data, that’s why people do not need to worry about their sensitive information becoming available to third parties.


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Does China Need VPN Services?

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China is famous for its tough internet censorship. In this country it is forbidden to access social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, to use Google services and to watch YouTube videos.  There are some ways to bypass these restrictions and visit your favorite sites without limitations. To get a VPN is the most widespread. But, do users really need it?

It is a difficult question to answer. Some people consider that such restrictions are in violation of their rights. You can find this type of users on forums, asking for advice about the best VPN. They probably use their selected VPN service regularly to access blocked sites. For them it is essential to communicate with their friends and relatives using Facebook and to exchange commercial correspondence with the help of Gmail. That’s why these users need VPN services, because they can unblock websites that have been censored by the government and provide with secure access to Internet.

On the other hand, there is the opinion that Chinese users can manage without restricted sites because China has its own counterparts. And this point of view insists that only foreigners staying in China cannot live without access to the blocked American-based websites. Native users can follow China-based websites of the same type instead of foreign ones. For example, to upload their videos, they can use Chinese websites like v.sina.com.cn, tudou.com and youku.com that are not as fast, but at least are not censored. Is it a a negative phenomenon – prohibiting foreign media because they promote ideas that are alien to the centuries-old culture, but having local replacements with the same ideology?


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India’s Internet Restrictions

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The Indian government has recently toughened the Internet censorship in the country. The new rules are an update of the IT Act 2000. It regulates the content of online posts. Indian officials claim that the new measures are in tune with international laws and do not violate users’ rights

According to the regulations, Indian users are not allowed to post information which is "grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous,  defamatory, obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, racially or ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatsoever".

The Department of Information Technology can block websites that display content of the type mentioned above. Any citizen can demand the blocking of content that they consider to be objectionable. The task of doing the "dirty job" will lie with the Internet service providers and websites that publish user-generated content.

Even though the Indian government is attempting to regulate the published content, it does not agree with web anonymity. The rules require that cyber cafes store data about their customers including their name, address, photo and browsing history, making it possible to find a person who has placed prohibited data on the Internet with the help of a public computer. The cyber cafe owners are obliged to keep a one-year log of all sites accessed by their users. The rules insist that "all the computers in the cyber cafe shall be equipped with safety/filtering software, in order to avoid access to websites that contain pornography, obscenity, terrorism and other objectionable material."

The government says that these measures are essential for preventing crimes. But a lot of users consider many points to be vague and don’t agree with the new rules, because they can violate their right to free speech. They are afraid that any thoughtless comment can be a reason for arrest. But it seems that VPN service providers can gain from these type of rules.

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e-G8 Forum in France

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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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How to Use Wi-Fi Safely on Vacations?

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Nowadays, wireless networks are widely accessible. With summer vacations nearing, it is important to remember about safety when using Wi-Fi whilst traveling. Wi-Fi is quite convenient to use so you can stay connected everywhere, but it is not safe. Publicly available Internet is the least protected from hackers’ attacks and from personal data theft. The information transmitted over wireless networks is not encrypted, that’s why it can be easily accessed by third parties. The following tips can help you secure your Internet access

It is very important to keep your wireless connection turned off whilst you are not using it. Make sure that the options of automatic reconnection are switched off on your device. In some cases it is the ability to reconnect wireless networks without your help that can make your information visible for hackers. 

For top quality protection, consider using a VPN connection. It provides you with hotspot security by encrypting all the data transferred. It is wise to use VPN to access your company network, because VPN services create a secure tunnel between your device and the destination network. 

Make sure that you use HTTPS instead of HTTP when doing online banking or shopping transactions, or  when entering your logging details. HTTPS means that your connection is protected and the data you are typing in will be encrypted.

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