10 Reasons To Use a VPN in 2016 – What Are You Waiting For?

Andrew Orr From our Perspective

Using a virtual network provider (VPN) is important if you want to protect your privacy. Still not using one yet? Here are some reasons why you should. Further Reading Is It Illegal To Use a VPN? Proxy vs. VPN: What’s the difference? 1. Staying safe on public Wi-Fi Public Wi-Fi practically blankets the landscape today. It’s also insecure to use. Using public Wi-Fi should only be the last measure or emergency. Maybe you need to fire off a quick email to the boss, and you are out of cellular data. …

Seeing the Spectrum

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

Look around you. Walls, floors, computers, mugs, people. It’s all confined to a particular spectrum, good old visible light. But what about the rest of the spectrum? This post on Quora proposes a thought experiment where the visible colors (the rainbow) on the spectrum are stretched to cover the entire gray bar you see below. Although adamant that this is impossible Inna Vishik describes the new total coverage as looking like this: Everyone would be the same color (except for people with a fever) (infrared–>yellowish).  Also, you would be able …

Is a Free VPN Worth It?

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

VPNs are really bloody useful. We’ve covered a similar topic, the types of people who could use them, but using something for the first time can be a hard thing to do. Especially if the service in question doesn’t substantially change anything. A smoothly functioning VPN should be almost indistinguishable from a non-VPN routed internet connection. Free VPNs require a warning The answer to this problem for some people is to look for a free service. VPNs are not created equally; however, there are different levels of security and privacy. …

ISIS Prevent Beer Drinking

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

I had to double-check the date on this post. ‘I wrote “ISIS Beer Funds!!!” in a Venmo Memo and the Government Detained My $42,’ April 6, nothing wrong there. Ben Guarino had his $42 of beer money transaction nabbed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. OFAC are a bit of an economic hit squad for enemies of the state. They seem a bit wild and their prioritization of Cuba archaic in light of recent events. In February 2016 the French geoscience company, CGG France, agreed to settle a case …

International Spotlight: Sisi’s Egypt Admires the West

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

Egypt! Check out A -through-D at the bottom. Egypt has undergone a tumultuous transformation in the last five years. The current President Fatah Al-Sisi represents a snap back to the strongman politics of the 20th century using 21st-century techniques to quell dissent. Profile Egypt is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. History in the country dates back to the 10th millennium BC. Being around for so long means that the country has a range of influences including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and European. Islam has been the …

Our International Spotlight Shines it’s Light on Denmark

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cuba and now Denmark. Bring a coat. Denmark This Scandinavian country has some of the highest living standards in the world, one of the lowest Gini coefficients (a measure of inequality), and guess what- they pay some of the highest personal income tax rates too. The majority of Danes live a pretty satisfied life. Lego is headquartered there for crying out loud. Being part of the European Union but not part of the Euro has insulated Denmark from much of the global economic troubles- although I tend to …

International Spotlight on Brazil

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

After A comes B. Of the 17 countries to choose from I’ve opted for Brazil. It could have been Belgium, and it could have been Belarus, but Brazil has a lot going on. The country is embroiled in a corruption scandal involving the sitting president- Dilma Rousseff- and her predecessor Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva. The country is on both ends of the surveillance stick- it surveils, and it is surveilled. The Snowden documents revealed that they were a prime target for the NSA. However, Brazil is also on the …

International Spotlight: Cuba

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

Following Azerbaijan and Brazil, a C country is next in line for the spotlight. The obvious choice would be China. However, the number of words written about China’s internet by more intelligent, able and technical people than myself is sufficient. Let’s not saturate it, let’s stay socialist but take a leaf out of Barack’s book and visit Cuba instead. Country Profile The Socialist Paradise of Cuba, officially titled the Republic of Cuba, is the largest island in the Caribbean at 42,426 square miles it is about the size of Ohio. …

Netflix Hit House of Cards targets Big Data

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

*This post contains House of Cards Season 4 spoilers, don’t say we didn’t warn you.* House of Cards may be fictional, but it is also very real. There’s a (sigh) ‘media savvy’ Baathist group called ICO, a New York Republican as the GOP candidate and data scientists tipping the election. Frank Underwood (fictional candidates have slicker campaign sites than real ones), incumbent President, and his GOP rival Will Conway are both using big data (cough, mass surveillance) in their campaigns. Kevin Spacey has the power of the NSA at his …

International Spotlight: Censorship in Azerbaijan

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

Surveillance can make anything possible. It can crush dissent, win elections, sell goods and ruin families. In this new feature, we’re going to take an alphabetic journey through countries of the world. Looking at how their governments, corporations and citizens spy and pry. First up is Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan Profile Azerbaijan is a country of 9.6 million people sitting by the Caspian Sea. Russia lies to the north and Iran to the south making the country of great geopolitical interest. The former Socialist Republic proclaimed its independence in 1991. Since then …