Usage of VPNs gaining ground with Congress repealing internet privacy rules

The repealing of the safety provisions have given rise to a niche market for smaller broadband service providers such as California-based Sonic which offers free VPN services to its customers.

With the U.S. Congress repealing rules that govern how internet service providers can use customer data, there is a renewed interest in virtual private networks (VPN).

VPN technology cloaks a customer’s web-surfing history by routing the data through an encrypted connection to a private server, which scours the web on  behalf of the customer without revealing the actual user behind the destination address.

VPNs are also typically used to connect to a secure business network and in countries such as China and Turkey, they are used to bypass government restrictions for web surfing.

Privacy conscious citizens are now increasingly talking of availing VPN services in order to safeguard against service providers collecting and selling their private data to advertisers.

“Time to start using a VPN at home,” tweeted Vijaya Gadde‏, general counsel of Twitter Inc, which was re-tweeted by Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s Chief Executive.

Gadde was not immediately available for comment.

Twitter said, she was commenting in her personal capacity and not on behalf of the company.

The Trump Administration has voted 215-205 to repeal rules adopted last year by the FCC under former president Barack Obama, which stated that broadband service providers obtain consumer consent before using consumer’s private data for advertising or marketing purposes.

Critics of the repeal have stated the move will weaken consumers’ privacy protections.

VPNs however do have a drawback, since they funnel all of the user’s traffic through one single point, the VPN server becomes a highly attractive target for hackers and spies.

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