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Author Topic: PGP Encryption of messages  (Read 1730 times)
Quickseller
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April 26, 2015, 11:32:11 PM
 #21

What's up with the forum being "Sponsored by Private Internet Access, a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.".

Is the forum hosted on servers they provide?
Yes.
How to we know that Private Internet Access is not associated with British or US intel?
We don't.
AFAIK, it must be assumed that the forum is compromised, and anyone wanting to send sensitive info
should do so over PGP-encrypted e-mail where they have verified the receiver.
As long as the PGP key of the person you are signing to has been verified before hand to belong to the recipient (this is most likely done via your web of trust, but there may be other ways as well) then sending an PGP encrypted PM should be the same as sending a PGP encrypted PM as long as you are confident that it is actually being encrypted to that PGP key (e.g. "manually" or via a chrome extension)

3PjXm2XYDKLV5mN3oiKzNTyVvSkqP3ujeq <-- tipping address Advertise here
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April 26, 2015, 11:39:31 PM
 #22

What's up with the forum being "Sponsored by Private Internet Access, a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.".

Is the forum hosted on servers they provide?
Yes.
How to we know that Private Internet Access is not associated with British or US intel?
We don't.

Exactly. Personally I think it's unwise to run it on servers they provide. From what I understand they're a
major VPN provider in the UK. I would find it highly suprising if intel orgs do not have some kind of monitoring
access. After all, most VPN users are legit, but some aint, and those are an interesting target for intel orgs.

To add some spice to it, of course both Private Internet Access and any intel org if inquired about it would
deny any knowledge of previous, current or future interception of users communications. I wonder how that
hosting deal came about and what rationale was behind it? Just greed?

After all, the forum would have enough funds for some serious hosting, even on dedicated hardware.
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April 27, 2015, 01:50:07 AM
 #23

Exactly. Personally I think it's unwise to run it on servers they provide. From what I understand they're a
major VPN provider in the UK. I would find it highly suprising if intel orgs do not have some kind of monitoring
access. After all, most VPN users are legit, but some aint, and those are an interesting target for intel orgs.

To add some spice to it, of course both Private Internet Access and any intel org if inquired about it would
deny any knowledge of previous, current or future interception of users communications. I wonder how that
hosting deal came about and what rationale was behind it? Just greed?

After all, the forum would have enough funds for some serious hosting, even on dedicated hardware.
PIA is based out of the US, (this sometimes makes brings up the topic of true anonymity with their VPN service and being US-based) not the UK.

Also, I did some digging on PIA sponsoring Bitcointalk and came up with the following:

That's cool, the forums are ran by PIA? Same service I use and I love the service, really good stuff.

quick correction just for FUD insurance, the forum is ran by theymos, theymos is the only one that has access to the forum's server box. Private Internet Access just donated the box so the forum can be hosted for in exchange for that permanent ad on the bottom.

So I'm not sure if that means theymos is the only one with physical access to the servers hosting Bitcointalk (I'm doubting this though, I suspect they just donated theymos a high-end VPS to run Bitcointalk on) or if it is run through a PIA VPS, and theymos is the only one on this site with the credentials for the VPS.

Also, in the above quote, gweedo mentions that they provide hosting for the website in exchange for having a permanent PIA ad on the website. It must be cost-effective for Private Internet Access to host the site in exchange for running their ads. IIRC, an ad spot sells for ~ 1.5 BTC per month here, which is about $300 USD. I'm fairly confident that hosting wouldn't cost them that much per month, so it's probably a fairly good deal for PIA, as well as Bitcointalk.
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April 27, 2015, 04:32:04 AM
 #24

This seems extremely unsafe. If the PIA is based in the US, they most certainly are in bed with the NSA.

Theymos having received exclusive access to a VPS says nothing about security really. As long as the hardware is not in his physical possession, he has no control whatsoever.

Here are some interesting reads:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharrock/what-is-that-box-when-the-nsa-shows-up-at-your-internet-comp
(Not directly related to PIA but worth a read anyway:
http://www.thenation.com/blog/174708/secret-nsa-program-gives-agency-unprecedented-access-private-internet-communications

Long rant from PIA there about how they are serious about privacy, might be true, or might not be true:
https://torrentfreak.com/how-nsa-proof-are-vpn-providers-131023/

In fact, I would actually suspect a VPN company that is in bed with the NSA to act very vocal about not being in bed with NSA. To be honest, I would not be surprised for one second if some of the major VPN operations in reality are funded from the ground up by the NSA.

The britts have a very bad reputation about doing internet surveillance as well.

UK is also a part of five eyes along with the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Eyes




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