No longer feeling Private after Copyright notice

I’ve been using VyprVpn for many years and I have been thoroughly satisfied until today. Yes I was notified that a copyrighted movie had been downloaded through Goldenfrogs IP to my Home IP at which point a movie production company notified Goldenfrog, in realtime I might add and then in turn Goldenfrog suspended my account. Not so private anymore…

First off, what is the device that is tracking the “copyrighted material” for the production company’s and what is the legality of that device, seems pretty phishy to me…

anyway I’m feeling like I need to start looking for an off shore VPN account…

Nothing is private. Not even VyprVPN

and dont say " none of my information was shared with said production company" Goldenfrog is obviously watching there own behinds by providing this service to the production company’s.

Hello,

Allow me to provide some clarification on this situation and our DMCA policy in general.

We receive the notices from outside sources, such as copyright agents working for copyright holders. When you connect to VyprVPN, you are issued an IP address that belongs to us. If the agency looking for that traffic sees the IP file sharing or otherwise infringing works subject to copyright law, they forward a DMCA notice to the IP owner, which would be us. We then proceed to do the following:

  1. Verify the validity of the notice.
  2. Locate the correct Golden Frog account.
  3. Lock the offending Golden Frog account.
  4. Forward the original notice, along with an explanation of the account status and information on how to unlock the account.

The only information that party has is an IP address that belongs to us. It is important to note that any legal verbiage listed in the notice you receive attached to our email is intended for Golden Frog only, and not the customer.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact our support team directly.

Thank you!

Regards,
Dustin

Thank you for the clarification and I do understand Goldenfrogs position. What I would like as a customer is more information on the copyrights holders technology and how they are tracking packages. Is there public information on this technology?

I do believe Goldenfrog should be able to explain how there customers packets are be tracked as this is in my mind is a breach of privacy.

Hello @darkjnome,

I do understand your concern and desire to understand how a copyright holder identifies their copyright material is being downloaded. While I can not speak to the specifics as to how a copyright holder identifies you downloaded their copyright material, I will speak generally here. A copyright holder can simply search the internet to determine whether their copyright material is being distributed illegally. Another way is to search using peer-to-peer software, such as a torrent software, used by individuals who are sharing the files. When they find the copyright material, they identify the IP address that downloaded the copyright material and issue a copyright infringement notice.

Regards,
Samuel

Thanks for trying to clarify but unfortunately I don’t feel any better about my privacy when using VyprVpn. Your explanation is very broad. The technology they are using is obviously more sophisticated than a human simply watching traffic. I believe this breach of privacy is happening in real time and is software based.

I guess my question at this point is.

Is this spying software breaking VyprVpn encryption?

I was under the understanding that all of my packets were encrypted when using VyprVpn.

Hi @darkjnome,

I understand your concern. Let me break it down a bit more. No, your secure, encrypted VyprVPN connection is not compromised in this process. More than likely, the DMCA notice associated with the account was due to BitTorrent activity. Most are. Here’s how it works overall:

  1. You load a torrent file into a client and being downloading/seeding.
  2. Copyright agents, and anyone else connected to the same torrent, can see all IP addresses in the torrent “swarm” (downloaders/uploaders).
  3. The Copyright agent monitors the torrent and takes note, in some fashion, of all the IP addresses allegedly engaging in infringing activity and proceeds to identify the IP owner. This might be an ISP, or Golden Frog if you’re connected to VyprVPN.
  4. The Copyright agent sends a notice of infringement (DMCA notice) to the owner of the IP, Golden Frog.
  5. It is then our policy, in order to stop alleged copyright infringement activity on our network, per our ToS and Copyright Policy, to validate the time stamps in the notice, lock the offending account, and then forward an email with the original DMCA notice attached to it for the customer’s records.
  6. The account is only unlocked when the customer completes the digital affirmation signature linked in that email, which re-affirms they agree to our policies.

Throughout all of this, your data is secure. The only thing that third-party Copyright agent knows is that a Golden Frog IP was seen allegedly participating in copyright infringement. We do not hand over customer information to them at any point in time. To do so, or to have your connection security compromised in any way would run entirely contrary to our mission.

Let me know if that cleared things up a bit and if you have further questions.

Regards,
Nick
Golden Frog Support

Got it, and sorry for my persistence on this matter.

I fully respect and believe in your mission to protect privacy & I think you guys do a great job!

but I also think we are getting into some legal gray area when it comes to enforcing alleged infringement. I would much rather be put on notice than sued in court so we do agree on that but it does feel as though the Copyright Agent has assumed infringement with out proof and Goldenfrog is honoring that assumption to also avoid legal action. I don’t blame you.

Please let me know if there is anyway I can help to force this metaphorical thumb off our heads and in the meantime all try to make sure “copyrighted material” does’t enter my IP address.

Looks like the agreement between ISPs and copyright agents has concluded and discontinued.

Here’s a link to the article

Will Goldenfrog also be stopping there relationship with copyright agents?

Hi @darkjnome,

As you can imagine, the whole copyright issue is very involved and I will not be able to comment further other than to mirror our policies I linked above. All I can confirm is that we have no immediate plans to change how we respond to these notices.

Regards,
Nick
Golden Frog Support

I’m feeling the same way, I thought no logs were kept but clearly they are. Doesn’t seem private at all and having to sign a declaration of guilt seems like we are getting tracked.

Allow me to hop in here and try to explain how something like VyprVPN, (or ANY VPN for that matter), works.

  1. You are located at some location, somewhere in the world.

  2. You use VyprVPN to connect to one of Golden Frog’s VPN endpoints. (Let’s say the one in NYC.)

  3. You successfully establish the connection and - for the sake of argument - assume the strongest connetion strength, Chamelion.

  4. You then connect to some other site and do something there - whatever it is.

What any VPN does, VyprVPN included, is to “translate” your location from wherever it might actually be to make it appear as if you are located somewhere else.

The ONLY part of the connection that is hidden is the connection from your physical location to the VPN endpoint. Everything after that is “in the clear” unless an encrypted connection is used to the final destination. (i.e. an HTTPS connection or something substantially similar.)

The primary purpose of ANY VPN is to do one of two things:

  1. Punch you through a potentially restrictive, (or snoopy), firewall or ISP’s connection.
  2. Make you appear as if you are somewhere else.
    (I do this so that my wife can watch US based subscription content when we are abroad.)

VyprVPN, along with any other VPN does no more and no less.

The “security” and “privacy” aspects of using a VPN come from the effective translation of your location to somewhere else. Instead of being physically located inside a potentially snoopy “Internet Cafe”, you magically appear to be somewhere else, and the people in the Internet Cafe can’t see you anymore.

Example:
Assume I am located in Russia where they have their own version of The Great Firewall. Because of this, I cannot access certain content outside of Russia.

To solve this problem, I use VyprVPN to connect to an endpoint outside of Russia - again let’s use NYC as an example.

As far as Russia is concerned, (and the rest of the Internet for that matter), I have magically disappeared from within Russia, and have magically re-appeared in NYC, as if I were physically located there.

Note that the only thing that has changed is my apparent physical location within the Internet.

Once you re-appear in NYC, it is as if you were physically connected to an ISP located in NYC. Everything you do from there is as open and visible as if you were using a “normal” provider in the U.S.

Rule of thumb for any VPN connection:
The ONLY thing that is hidden is your connection to the endpoint. Everything after that is visible to everyone unless your connection is encrypted using an encrypting protocol like HTTPS.

I hope this helps.

Jim “JR”

Let me add something else:

First:
There is no such thing as a “zero logging” site or service

Anyone who tells you that such-and-so site and/or service is a “zero logging” site or service is full of doggy-poo. Sites and services MUST have, maintain, and keep logs simply to exist.

Without these logs, they have no way to protect themselves from malicious attacks or malware. They have no way to monitor the health of their systems and/or services. They have no way to know if one user is using the system inappropriately, and/or is selfishly hogging resources that should be available for all.

Second:
Privacy on the Internet is a myth

The best you can hope to do is limit your exposure.

If you absolutely, positively, want to guarantee your privacy you need to go “off the grid”. Any connection to the “real world” at all, be it electronic or otherwise, opens the door to possible privacy issues.

If you’re on the grid, you have to assume that someone, somewhere, somehow, can see what you’re doing if they really, really, really want to, and conduct youself accordingly.

Even things like “TOR” services and Bitcoin are not infallible. As I said in a different posting about malware: “If they really want your @$$, they’re going to have it.”

Just think about it - if people can hack places like the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, (etc. etc. etc.), do you think your puny little peer-to-peer program will keep you secure? If you do, you’re just kidding yourself.

It’s kind-of like having a radar-detector in your car. You may dodge the bullet two, three, maybe even five times - but eventually you will end up getting caught and paying the piper.

If you mess around on the Internet doing stupid and/or illegal things you shouldn’t be doing, you will eventually have to pay that piper too.

Jim “JR”

Using VPN you can just hide your Physical presence. IP of your used VPN will be shown at destination end. And if any legal issue arises like Copyright in your case. The Host will take action only on the IP provider and the same will take action on the account through which it was used.

You can use VPN’s for unblocking [Kickass Proxy] , With the help of VPN you can easily unblock Torrents.

A [VPN]is very much important to protect your privacy. A Virtual Private Network, allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet. VPNs can be used to access region-restricted websites, shield your browsing activity from prying eyes on public Wi-Fi, and more. It’s also very much needed to [unblock torrents]

Thanks for the reply, Alex.

For you anyone else who might come across this thread, I’d like to mention that we are now a no-log VPN service! You can read more about this policy change here - https://support.goldenfrog.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020361091-VyprVPN-No-Log-FAQs