Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck Communications Privacy The Internet

MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers 353

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-step-forward,-two-steps-back dept.
Nyder sends this quote from TorrentFreak: "Swedish payment service provider Payson received an email stating that VPN services are no longer allowed to accept Visa and MasterCard payments due to a recent policy change. ... The new policy went into effect on Monday, leaving customers with a two-day window to find a solution. While the email remains vague about why this drastic decision was taken, in a telephone call Payson confirmed that it was complying with an urgent requirement from Visa and MasterCard to stop accepting payments for VPN services. 'It means that U.S. companies are forcing non-American companies not to allow people to protest their privacy and be anonymous, and thus the NSA can spy even more.'" Oddly, this comes alongside news that MasterCard has backed down on its financial blockade against WikiLeaks.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:53PM (#44183169)

    When it's impossible to boycot the bad guy...

  • Oh whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tibe (444675) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:54PM (#44183175)

    > 'It means that U.S. companies are forcing non-American companies not to allow people to protest their privacy and be anonymous, and thus the NSA can spy even more.'

    That's rather bias. It also means that people are no longer able to circumvent geo locks on media content, avoiding the current media distribution models and laws. Some people are protecting their privacy, but I would guess the vast majority just want to watch Game of Thrones.

  • Re:Bitcoin (Score:4, Insightful)

    by emj (15659) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @05:56PM (#44183213) Homepage Journal

    Bitcoin has no privacy, or complete transparency, depending on your viewpoint.

  • Re:Oh whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:06PM (#44183317)

    That people pay VPN services to bypass geo locks means they have money to pay *something* to watch that content. Media companies should take note and offer more reasonable pricing for content globally. All they are accomplishing by getting Visa and Mastercard to collude with them is forcing people to use even less legal methods to get content.

    "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

  • This is why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DiSKiLLeR (17651) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:07PM (#44183323) Homepage Journal

    This is why we need a payment system that does NOT rely on PayPal, Visa, or MasterCard.

    And I guess this is why the US Govt. is trying to shut down bitcoin so hard....

  • Re:Good For Them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:12PM (#44183375)

    As somebody who used to live and work in China, I find this to be rather unfortunate. VPNs are neither good nor bad by any inherent reasoning, but what this means is that people in regions that have oppressive regimes are going to find it harder to get access to the web unfiltered as it's going to be harder and harder to fund the services.

    Ultimately, if the US government has had any input in this, it's going to bite them on the ass. Well, it will bite them on the ass, regardless of causation.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:13PM (#44183383)

    Because it's their network and no regulatory body has told them no. Doesn't make it right, but that's how it is until somebody steps in and says no.

  • by countach (534280) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:16PM (#44183413)

    Hmm, maybe they should rename their services. "Remote internet ISP services" or "SSL internet connection", or some other obfuscated name. They can't ban everything associated with the internet.

  • Re:Oh whatever (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:36PM (#44183611)

    Game of Thrones' Lord Vaerys: The content of a man's letter is more valuable than the content of his purse.

  • Two thoughts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pla (258480) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:38PM (#44183621) Journal
    1) Why does this not count as illegal collusion within an industry group? That they decided to announce it as a unified decision provides de facto proof that they conspired to deprive their customers of choice. If my itty bitty company made a similar joint announcement with one of our biggest competitors in the region, half a dozen state AGs would have us in court before the newsprint dried on the initial announcement.

    2) I make use of these usurious parasites' services because it lets me conveniently move my money from place to place without worrying about the security of either cash or my real bank accounts, and I can essentially do all my spending with one tidy itemized monthly bill. If I can no longer use Visa to purchase the goods and services I want, I no longer have a reason to use Visa at all.

    And a bonus thought, for good measure - For those talking about the NSA or Bitcoin - This involves regional protection of content, a favor to Hollywood, nothing more and nothing less. At least direct your vitriol in the right direction, folks.
  • Re:Good For Them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:50PM (#44183745)

    It just looks like the gloves came off with the whole Snowden affair. They now know they can get away with pretty much anything and the propaganda machine will keep up appearances well enough for the masses to accept it, and as a result the two-faced "protecting the freedom" with all its problems like VPNs can be finally finished.

  • by keneng (1211114) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:54PM (#44183775) Journal

    Bitcoin, the first world digital currency exists. Bitcoin will be the best match for getting things bought and sold anywhere on the internet and in the real world while preserving our digital freedoms and digital privacy. Bitcoin is decentralized. No single government may control it. There are service fees like traditional banks, but the manner in which these fees are distributed is very different and fairly distributed. It has every reason to succeed over the traditional currency exchange scheme.

    MASTERCARD and VISA want to help the current super powers take away our digital freedoms and digital privacy by refusing to do business with VPN providers.

    Boycott Mastercard and Visa. Stop doing business with VISA and MASTERCARD.
    Learn to use Bitcoin instead of VISA and MASTERCARD.

    "Ideas and Discoveries" magazine brings up the idea "The Internet will become the new world SUPERPOWER" and "operates more effectively than America or China". Since no single government may control Bitcoin, Bitcoin is a good match with the new INTERNET SUPERPOWER because both do well at preserving digital freedoms and digital privacy especially because both are decentralized.

  • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:04PM (#44183847) Journal

    Learn to use Bitcoin instead of VISA and MASTERCARD.

    Sure. How do I buy bitcoins without using Visa or MasterCard (or Paypal)?
     

  • alternatives? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aryeh Goretsky (129230) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:12PM (#44183939) Homepage

    Hello,

    Does the ban extend to VPS providers like Linode and Lowendbox (et al), or cloud services like Amazon AWS or Google Cloud which could host a VPN? If not, perhaps provisioning a VPN server is one of these is an alternative.

    Credit card companies and payment processors might be less willing to suspend operations with Amazon or Google.

    Regards,

    Aryeh Goretsky

  • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:14PM (#44183947) Homepage Journal

    Your cheque is an order to the bank to pay $X to Y. If your government outlaws Y, the bank cannot honour your order.

    At the moment, banks have a smallish list of countries and companies that have been outlawed, and so the bank cannot pay tme anything. These are organizations/countries claimed to be in of support of terrorism. If the government in question can argue VPNs enable terrorism, they can add VPN companies to the list.

    --dave

  • by lgw (121541) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:34PM (#44184093) Journal

    Heh, that local bitcoins site is great. "Meet me outside my apartment building and hand me cash, and sure enough you'll get some bitcoins, I promise, pinky swear".

    Anyone with any better advice?

  • by mysidia (191772) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:37PM (#44184117)

    Nah, technology adapts far easier and quicker against them than at their favor. Visa and Mastercard are hardy the only ways in existence to exchange money and as they become more and more restrictive other options are sure to fill the void.

    Right... it is ultimately to their detriment to adopt these policies.

    They are creating a motivation and a market for other companies to replace them

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:26PM (#44184533) Journal

    They can't ban everything associated with the internet.

    Yeah, they can. That's why this is so scary. ISPs are VPN providers just waiting to happen. Every ISP that provides shell accounts can easily become someone's VPN provider, through no fault of their own.

    First, they came for the VPN providers....

  • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:37PM (#44184615)
    While on the face of it, "US considered hostile" might be taken as flamebait, it would seem at the moment to be an accurate characterisation.

    A nation (or to be fair, its administration) that continually bullies its own people and citizens of other nations cannot expect to be treated as anything but a pariah. Trouble is, I don't see any other governments having the courage to stand up to the US.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:43PM (#44184639)

    Uhhm, you _can_ verify that. Just whip out your phone and make sure the coins were sent before you give cash or buy from someone well trusted.

  • Re:This is why... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @10:12PM (#44185201)

    No, you can't.

    Suppose there were only 10 bitcoins in the world all sequentially numbered, and I owned number 2 and 5. If I want to pay Paul a bitcoin, I tell everybody on the bitcoin peer network that I am giving him coin 2. Everybody now knows he has coin 2. Unless he tells everybody that he is giving away 2, your CPU can't interject and say "guess what guys, I have 2", I don't care if it was invented by god and jesus combined.

    If you think you can, put up or shut up: Show us the math.

  • by DworkinLV (716880) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @10:49PM (#44185397)
    And if you had read the linked articles, you would have seen the prior occurrence with wikileaks. Having both Visa & Mastercard not accept either the wikileaks donations or VPN payments at the same time seams suspicious. Both organizations are seperate and have seperate charging agreements. So both at once leads one to believe that pressure was applied by an outside source. As both instances have occured around leaking of US government "secrets" (Don't get me started as if they are still secrets when they are plastered over the press) it becomes obvious who benefits from the blockage. The U.S. Government
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @03:08AM (#44186359)

    The whole "I read it in X, they say it on Y, so it must be true" fallacy stems from the misconception that "free press" means that the press tells the truth. While they MAY, unlike in countries where the ruling powers dictate what they may print, no law dictates that they MUST do so.

    The press is still held in pretty high esteem in large portions of the population, mostly because of what they did in the past. The press actually earned that reputation. We did actually have some high quality reporters and a lot of very good journalists that critically analyzed events around the globe and tried to offer enough insight to give people the "other side" of what governments and "official" news outlets provide.

    This gradually changed in the last two or so decades. News turned from information to entertainment, and content was replaced with opinion. The press ain't what it used to be. I'd love to peg it all on Fox News and how their sensationalist, opinion-heavy reporting "forced" everyone else to jump the bandwagon, but in the end, we're to blame. If we didn't want to get that kind of "news", they couldn't offer it.

    People don't want information anymore. They don't want to form their opinion. They don't want to think. They want to choose the opinion they want to join. It's easier. It spares them the thinking. They can just parrot what your favorite news anchorman spills and feel intelligent for using big words (even though the words aren't theirs).

    We're to blame. It's love to say "they are", but I can't help but feel responsible for it, too.

  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @05:57AM (#44186819)

    Outside source or not, we have a basic right to communicate over a secured connection, and so by extension the right to pay any legitimate company we like to provide said services to us.

    But no, a world corporate duopoly Mastercard/Visa have decided that we no longer have that right. As citizens WE MUST revoke or at the very least impose hefty enough fines on these companies for abusing the privileges we gave them, by allowing them to sell their services into our respective countries. Arrogance, much.

    Of course, those who organized this fiasco are the same ones who control our their politicians, so this basic and necessary wrist slapping will not occur, and so we continue our slide down the slippery slope...

  • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @07:49AM (#44187227)

    And if you had read the linked articles, you would have seen the prior occurrence with wikileaks. Having both Visa & Mastercard not accept either the wikileaks donations or VPN payments at the same time seams suspicious.

    "Seems suspicious"? It was already obvious that they take orders from Washington, in exchange for diplomatic support for their expansion into Russia and other markets.

    It was already obvious that Visa and Mastercard are not neutral payment providers, and therefore not reliable as international payment infrastructure.

    This just underscores even more that we need better payment infrastructure. The world can't afford to be dependent on these two companies for its economic traffic.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

Working...