Virtual Private Network
Digital Rights, Human Rights
- Every day the Digital Privacy Issue grows in importance
Basic commercial VPN like Freedome, NordVPN or Private Internet Access encrypts all of your online traffic and routes it from your PC or smartphone through a server in a remote data center, and only then out to the open internet. The result is that any snoop or censor watching your local connection can only see your scrambled communications to that server, not the actual destinations of your browsing or the contents of your communications. But while most decent VPNs promise not to keep sensitive logs of users' online histories, it's hard for users to confirm that safeguard is actually in place. And many of the most proven privacy-conscious VPNs are too expensive for users in surveillance-heavy countries in the developing world.
Let's talk VPN security and why it's important
A VIRTUAL PRIVATE network, that core privacy tool that encrypts your internet traffic and bounces it through a faraway server, has always presented a paradox: Sure, it helps you hide from some forms of surveillance, like your internet service provider's snooping and eavesdroppers on your local network. But it leaves you vulnerable to a different, equally powerful spy: Whoever controls the VPN server you're routing all your traffic through.
To help solve that quagmire, Jigsaw, the Alphabet-owned Google sibling that serves as a human rights-focused tech incubator, will now offer VPN software that you can easily set up on your own server—or at least, one you set up yourself, and control in the cloud. And unlike older homebrew VPN code, Jigsaw says it's focused on making the setup and hosting of that server simple enough that even small, less savvy organizations or even individual users can do it in minutes.
Re: the launch of Jigsaw...
As announced at launch in March 2018: "An easy-to-use, open source tool that lets news organizations provide their network of journalists safer access to the internet."
- Alphabet's Outline keeps out web snoops: Alphabet Jigsaw's new VPN service helps protect writers from prying eyes