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Katty

Would those in nations under ban be able to access jw.org via proxies and vpns?

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It's something I've considered and wondered about. Someone explained to me, for instance, how Tor works, which uses and onion router and thus adds layers so that you can't really tell who is accessing a site and from where. I know a few of us have experienced this site being an IP addressed blocked by ISPs and either a proxy or VPN have typically been the solution to the issue. I've seen some VPNs that, while not free, no, are also very effective, at least according to advertisements to make a computer seem to be in a completely different country: (that is if I understood the ad correctly). This makes me wonder if it's possible for at least some of the friends in countries such as Russia to access materials via a proxy and vpn; if so, whether it would be overly risky to do so, and how it would weight out with the Bible principles of being in subjection to the superior authorities, but obeying God rather than man. Look forward to your thoughts.

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I was recently looking into getting a VPN, so I did a lot of reading about them. Whichever device you are using, it has its own unique IP address (Internet Protocol). Your Internet Service Provider can see, if they wish, what you do on the Internet. So can anyone else who has the know-how and the right tools. (Find out your IP address at whatismyipaddress.com.) When you are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), your device looks like it's using a different IP address than the one assigned to your device. And so no one can tell which device you are using or even where you are, and it can't be traced. If you are inclined to do your online banking from a Wifi in a coffee shop, you definitely need a VPN. Depending on which country the VPN service is based, your usage could be completely blocked from any inquiring eyes. Some countries, however, have laws requiring that the VPN service hand over their logs to the government if requested. To that end, NordVPN is recommended, since it's based in Panama where no accessing laws exist. Any VPN service based in the US or Canada, however, is not so private if the government comes knocking on their door.

 

As you mentioned, @Katty, you can set a VPN to look like you're in a different country. So I wondered too about VPNs in Russia, if it is legal to have one there. I don't remember where I read it, but it said that VPNs are allowed in Russia. However you can't use just any VPN service you want. It has to be one approved by the government. (td) There is no doubt a reason for that, such as making sure it's a Russian VPN service. And there are more than likely access laws that allow the government to snoop on your activity if they suspect something.

 

 

Edited by Sheep

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9 hours ago, Sheep said:

As you mentioned, @Katty, you can set a VPN to look like you're in a different country. So I wondered too about VPNs in Russia, if it is legal to have one there. I don't remember where I read it, but it said that VPNs are allowed in Russia. However you can't use just any VPN service you want. It has to be one approved by the government. (td) There is no doubt a reason for that, such as making sure it's a Russian VPN service. And there are more than likely access laws that allow the government to snoop on your activity if they suspect something.

Let's say I'm in Russia and use NordVPN to access JW.org. Is there a way the police or anyone can detect I'm using that service? There's nothing in my traffic that reveals I'm using a VPN, is there? Or maybe they could realize it if they are investigating me specifically and see what my IPs show, but there's no way to filter all connections in the country to detect those which use a VPN. Or am I wrong?

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5 hours ago, carlos said:

Let's say I'm in Russia and use NordVPN to access JW.org. Is there a way the police or anyone can detect I'm using that service? There's nothing in my traffic that reveals I'm using a VPN, is there? Or maybe they could realize it if they are investigating me specifically and see what my IPs show, but there's no way to filter all connections in the country to detect those which use a VPN. Or am I wrong?

Theoretically, yes, you're right. I think. But I'm not sure of all the details on how they might know you were using an unauthorized VPN, or if they could find out at all. The only way Russian police would know for sure would be to look at your device to find out what VPN is on it. To do that they would need to have some specific reason to knock on your door and check it over. However if they know you're one of Jehovah's Witnesses, that might provide a good enough reason to check out your device. Whether a brother or sister in Russia is willing to take that chance or not is, I guess, a personal decision.

 

What I do know is that no VPN is perfectly secure; it's just a step in that direction. Most VPN services do warn you of that fact on their sites. Technically, there's no such thing as absolutely, complete, anonymity on the Internet.

 

Edited by Sheep

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Do all our devices here share the same IP address, provided by the cable router?

&FFFFFFFF (4bn) doesn’t seem enough for all the devices on the planet. (I know there is another future-proof protocol but I can’t think of the words at the moment.)

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If I recall correctly, some of the tech savvy brothers in Russia have come up with various ways to get around the block to jw.org. Obviously they did this via proxies and other methods so no one would know who did it. It would work for a while, but then the Russian government clued in and closed the loophole. I remember asking Victoria about this in a post, but she was reluctant to answer. I don't blame her.

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