HideMyAss VPN

Thursday, August 3, 2017

HMA! STANDS WITH INTERNET PRIVACY

It’s the right we all must continue to fight for (and you thought “to party” was the most important right.)
As anyone who cares about the right to access the internet (and the right to privacy while doing so) knows, US President Trump recently reversed regulations passed under President Obama.  These regulations would have prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from selling users’ web browsing data without their consent. Now the ISPs have free rein over making money from everyday people’s personal information.
The HMA! team has obviously been following this story closely, from the time it began during the Obama administration. And our stance remains now what it was then and has always been. This is wrong. It is a violation of privacy, of the right to freely access information, and of the right to retain ownership of that information.
Firstly, let’s dive into what this piece of legislation means. Last October, President Obama passed regulations that required ISPs to obtain consent before collecting your personal browsing data. Set to go into effect later this year, those regulations are now dead in the water.  Arguably, since they hadn’t yet been implemented, the state of internet privacy is surely now the same as it’s always been? So why are President Trump’s measures so significant, and why has this become an issue? Let’s break it down. 
We’re all aware we’re being watched online. We’re all aware of hackers, identity thieves, and other dangers that go along with accessing the web. That we’re also tracked by legitimate companies isn’t news, either. Who hasn’t had a conversation with a friend about how creepy it is to Google something one day, then see an ad for it on your Facebook account the next? I’m sure we can all agree it’s sort of scary to know how much is known about us, but the conversation ends there. We never take the conversation further.
Let that sink in. We never take the conversation further. Imagine someone was following you around the grocery store, always at your elbow, watching you take every item from the shelf or the produce bin and put it in your cart. After making a run for your car, locking the doors, and getting the hell out of there, would there be anything else you’d talk about for the rest of that day? That week? You’d tell your friends, you might even tell the police, you’d do everything you could to prevent it from happening again.
For many of us, simply accepting this kind of surveillance as the price we must pay for using free online services is not okay. Not only does this new legislation violate that belief, it’s just another example of what seems like the government’s being controlled by the highest bidder.
We at HMA! believe no one has the right to to violate your online privacy, and certainly not to profit from it. We’ve spent years building and honing a service that embodies our belief that everyone should have access to any online information, everyone should be able to access it safely, and that no one should have to sacrifice device performance to do so. The fact that we have to continue reiterating these principles is proof of their importance: they never stop being challenged.
So, what now? Is internet privacy really dead?
It doesn’t have to be, not if ordinary people like all of us fight.
Hide My Ass! encourages you to stay educated and help educate those around you, so you can take action. Know what’s happening worldwide with internet privacy, censorship, access. We’ll continue to share the most relevant news on our Facebook and Twitter channels, as well as here on the blog. Pass along news you think others need to know. Then let your elected officials know what you think. This former Congressional staffer has good advice about how to be heard, and apps like ResistbotDemocracy.io, and Call to Action make it unbelievably easy to do so, repeatedly.  
Second, protect your privacy online. Period. Whether it’s from your ISP, Google, Facebook, or cyber criminals, you need to take responsibility for taking this step and encouraging those you care about to do so, too. You should look at and adjust your privacy settings, pay attention to what you opt into online, and install and use Hide My Ass! VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your data and hide your activity.
So the next time you and your friends discuss the news of the day, like the rollback of the FCC regulations, or share how freaky you find it that search engines seem to know your every move, don’t stop with astonishment or outrage. Don’t just throw up your hands. Continue the conversation. Then do something about it, because online privacy is everyone’s right. And rights only stick around when they’re fought for.


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