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The Almighty Buck Communications Privacy The Internet

MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers 353

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.
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MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

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  • And thus it begins (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hawkinspeter ( 831501 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:43PM (#44183075)
    So, it has come to this.
  • by canadiannomad ( 1745008 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @06:58PM (#44183243) Homepage

    What I really dislike about this is how it is a group of companies acting as a pack to instill their own laws/moral judgement on the world at large. Why do they get to decide which companies I deal with or not?

  • Re:Two thoughts. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordLucless ( 582312 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @07:59PM (#44183805)

    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.

    This is a favor to Hollywood; last time it was a favour to Government so they could try to starve out Wikileaks. It's a question of control. With the current system, Visa can vritually control who you can and cannot buy goods and services from, putting them in the position of being able to exert de facto control over the economy.

    A decentralized payment method (like cash, or bitcoin) puts the control in the owners of the money. Cash has too many historical roots to destroy, but its inherently limited in its ability to make large payments across wide geographical separation. Which is why bitcoin (and any other new, decentralized, electronic currency) is a threat to the existing system.

  • Very suspicious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SoftwareArtist ( 1472499 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:10PM (#44183899)

    Does anyone else find this story very suspicious? I mean, VPN services are completely mainstream, widely used by business people. I bet that even MasterCard and Visa use them. And suddenly we're told there's a conspiracy to ban them. And the poster attributes this to the NSA wanting to spy on us. All based on completely anecdotal reports from one company that you've probably never heard of before.

    I suspect the summary will turn out to be a complete misrepresentation, and the truth will be something far less evil and far less interesting than this post makes it out to be.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:14PM (#44183943)
    | Sure. How do I buy bitcoins without using Visa or MasterCard (or Paypal)?

    Usually you use Local Bit Coins or any of the methods []listed on this new user's guide [].

  • by Anachragnome ( 1008495 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @08:15PM (#44183959)

    I personally do not use a VPN service anymore, but have a request for anyone that does. I also request you post results here, in this thread, to share any response you may receive.

    Please call your current VPN provider and ask them how to go about paying them for their services without using PayPal, Visa, Mastercard or AmEx. Just see what advice they give to you in order for you to continue using their services (if any).

    I am curious as to how the providers themselves are responding to their customers. They may have already come up with a viable alternative payment method that has been kept out of the media.

  • by Meshugga ( 581651 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @09:50PM (#44184683)

    A roommate is on there, and it works like a charm for him, he earns a wee bit of money selling bitcoins. He's thinking about how to protect himself against robberies, but I guess it's the same with any sort of dealing that involves value. So far there weren't any problems beyond the occassional buyer flaking out.

  • by theskipper ( 461997 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @09:53PM (#44184711)

    I withdrew $500 in cash from my bank, went to Walmart and had a Moneygram sent to Bitinstant. Within an hour it was in my Mt Gox account, minus all the fixed and transaction fees (a somewhat hefty $25). Certainly inconvenient but the process is pretty straightforward once you understand how it works. YMMV.

    Of course this doesn't consider what's involved in getting USD out of Mt. Gox which is ideally just the inverse. But I planned on spending the bitcoins so it wasn't a consideration.

  • Re:Oh, fuck off. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tibe ( 444675 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @10:12PM (#44184851)

    You're crude and fail to understand simple arguments, and some key aspects of language and communication.
    You have inferred an opposite point of view to your own from my statements.
    This shows you see the world as black and white, and anyone's opinion as either with you entirely or against. This is simply not the case.

    I do not have enough data to say anything more than what I guess. I could probably find some.

    I am not willing to throw out anonymity and privacy for those who want to circumvent copyright.

    The above is in bold so you can see I agree with you.

    Ideally media companies would find another way to distribute content. One that suits the users who are prepared to pay for it and themselves.

    I would bet that media companies protecting their current, quite flawed, distribution model is the motivation behind stopping payments. Not spying.

    Furthermore, grow up.

  • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @10:47PM (#44185071)

    What "many" people want is irrelevant. What's important is what those with power want. Many people can be suppressed in a number of ways ranging from propaganda to intimidation, to control through financial means such as debt, to simply shooting them with a hellfire missile from a drone.

    Ars technica had a very good article on a guy on their IRC channel who appears to have been Snowden back in 2000s. Back then he was quoted to state things like "leakers should be shot in the balls" and so on. Basically there will always be plenty of young men who will feel that it is patriotic to defend their country by working for the security apparatus. Most of them rarely if ever come in contact with full scale of it, and the reason why Snowden apparently got to the point where he felt he had to blow the whistle was because in his position of sysadmin he had far more access then any single analyst or operative and could judge the whole rather then a small part of the puzzle.

    The result is that tyrants across the world easily stay in power on the back of such young men. When these young men occasionally become Snowdens, they are violently suppressed by those who came after them.

  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday July 03, 2013 @11:02PM (#44185137)

    That question is only relevant until I'm able to earn part of my salary directly in bitcoins.

    Then it is already relevant to some people. I employ a graphic artist that lives in Karachi, Pakistan. Paypal doesn't work in Pakistan. I used to pay her with a quarterly wire transfer, but that ate up about 5% of her salary in fees. So now I pay her in bitcoins, and the transaction fees are less than 1%.

  • by sg_oneill ( 159032 ) on Thursday July 04, 2013 @12:05AM (#44185483)

    Ah yes, undercutting local labor markets with third world labor PLUS bitcoins!

    Liberty is at hand folks!!!!

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe