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Using VPN in Australia

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So I have moved to Australia right now for few months and right from the start have been facing issues of accessing my favorite sites. How well airvpn will perform in Australia?

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Hi there.

I've lived in Australia for a while. The internet is rubbish: expensive, unreliable, often slow and compromised (data retention). I had better internet in China!

Airvpn does not have a server in Australia. There are posts in the forum on why not, but they revolve round the exorbitant cost (cost of living is often higher than the Scandi countries, without access to Europe and the culture. Beaches kind of do not make up for that.) And the data retention / surveillance state. This has been turned into a fine art in Australia.

On the whole, Airvpn works well, but some of its servers have been blacklisted, by for instance Netflix or the BBC. You might need for those sites to get another VPN - but I would urge you to stick with Airvpn for all other activities.

Why?

Several reasons.

Australia does not have a bill of rights, or even guaranteed freedom of speech (some political speech is protected, sort of). Politicians learned long ago they could simply lie to the voters, scare them or ignore the voters' criticisms - so overt control of the press was not required. In any case, one half of the press landscape is controlled by Murdoch. So, they do not need to, in any case.

It is easy for the authorities to obtain a warrant, merely by saying they suspect X of doing Y - even if they do not have a lot of evidence. The judiciary is compliant.

There is data retention too. The Federal Police (kind of like a cheap FBI) were caught accessing journalists data, without warrant. It was an "accident", they said. [see: http://www.zdnet.com/article/ombudsman-finds-australian-federal-police-unaware-of-journalist-metadata-requirements/; https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/28/federal-police-admit-accessing-journalists-metadata-without-a-warrant; https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/28/australian_federal_police_did_not_delete_metadata_as_promised/; https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/14/federal-police-admit-seeking-access-to-reporters-metadata-without-warrant]. So, all the promises that the data would be used only in extreme cases were hollow. As predicted.

The other problem is that unlike the US, where information illegally obtained, and anything flowing from it, can't be used in court (the doctrine of the fruit of the poisoned tree) - no such prohibition exists in Australia. It is up to the judge. So, information can be used even if there was no valid warrant. 

Additionally, the domestic intelligence service is largely unaccountable; for instance, its evidence to court proceedings and coronal inquests is usually not published (and so cannot be tested) - unlike the US. And indeed, all records of those courts are usually not available publicly, on grounds of "privacy". [Contrast with the US and what happened in the lead up to 9/11. such public disclosure would not occur in Australia.]

So, in short, if you live in Australia, you should be using a good quality VPN . They are not yet illegal  - but there have been discussions from time to time of making them so. And stay off social media.

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telemus +1 re political and legal analysis.

In addition, the surveillance and "legal" control of communications and internet is within the new "super-department" of Home Affairs. In analogy to the USA, this combines CIA (ASIO), FBI (AFP), DEA (AFP), ICE (ex Customs, Immigration, Border Protection), Homeland Security (AFP), and sundry, within the Hidden/Secret/Deep State of the Federal government department, with vicious penalties for whistleblowing/disclosure to the public of any corrupt or illegal or ideological or party political doings.

The USA has good reasons for the partition and separation and legally defined boundaries of government power.

This consolidation of hidden power has been pushed by the far right quasi fascist faction of the ruling Liberal National Party, which has a centre-right tradition. The centre-right faction includes Prime Minister Turnbull and some cabinet, but is largely controlled by the far right faction and "donors" and Murdoch (Fox) media and backroom party management.

Home Affairs is run by a high school graduate ex low level police officer who took to politics called Peter Dutton. Resembles and often referred to as "potato head". Intends to become PM and Big Boss.

Latest notable activity was: "Dutton was quoted as saying that white South African farmers may “deserve special attention” from Australia because of land seizures and violence. “

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/16/australia-looks-into-resettling-white-south-african-farmers-who-say-they-are-persecuted/?utm_term=.d2aafbf15638

You can get paid for being an ignorant racist pig brain.

 

So comments like this require a VPN and other infosec.

 

Because of the patchwork peering and poor performance of ISPs, and wholesale carriers with international cable such as Telstra/Vocus/iiNet/Optus, even though Eddie shows Reticulum 133ms and Antares 138ms to Air in Singapore, for access to non Australian sources SG is better connected with less peak hour congestion and ping and DNS delays and better CDN service than most ISPs in AU. My ISP uses Vocus via Perth for these Air servers. The Air servers in M247 datacenter such as Hydra are routed via LA USA so 380ms. Might be better for clients in India, Pakistan, Malaysia etc. So Air server performance in AU depends on one's ISP relation  to wholesalers and will vary.

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Wow! In all the gin joints....

This is likely kind of off the topic of the original post, but serenacat, your observations are, I think, horrifying.

In this respect, Australia is in the same place as the US - showing all the same signs of a democracy in decline. From within.

What this shows is the necessity of using VPNs - and hardening your browser. And getting of and staying off social media.

As for an analysis of democracy's dcline, the following are worth reading - some agree with the proposition, some do not (e.g. 3), but we do need to think about it:

1. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/08/how-democracies-die-by-steven-levitsky-and-daniel-ziblatt-review

2. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2018/jan/21/this-is-how-democracies-die

3. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/opinion/how-democracies-perish.html

4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/can-american-democracy-withstand-its-latest-assault/2018/01/10/7d364894-f487-11e7-beb6-c8d48830c54d_story.html

As for using Singapore. The SNOWDEN releases revealed that Australia was using Singapore, with the latter's agreement, as a tap of the internet in Asia and to and from Oz - much as the same documents showed that the UK was monitoring all incoming into the UK.

I tend to use other exit nodes - sure the ping is longer, but less likely to be victim of a canvass or fingerprint attack.

I only learned this from folks I know IRL who are helping people in really repressive countries rather than wannabe nascent repressive places.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Dutton tell us they need to destroy our privacy and anonymity in order to keep us safe.

Unfortunately, and increasingly, when one reads the comments in the newspaper, people think that the people Australians need to be kept safe from are Messers Dutton and Turnbull & Co.

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So good to read these enlcightened comments. If this isn't off topic...What is the best way to access an Australian bank account, from within Australia, since there is no Australian server? Would it work to use the free ProtonVPN over Eddie, for example? (Banks don't allow Tor connections.)

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Very interesting posts here, cheers!

I understand we all use AirVPN here, but has anyone used the Apple Private Relay facility for sites that can't be reached via AirVPN for some reason?
Does anyone have any opinion on the privacy implications of using that function?   

On 4/1/2018 at 12:30 PM, telemus said:

Hi there.

I've lived in Australia for a while. The internet is rubbish: expensive, unreliable, often slow and compromised (data retention). I had better internet in China!

Airvpn does not have a server in Australia. There are posts in the forum on why not, but they revolve round the exorbitant cost (cost of living is often higher than the Scandi countries, without access to Europe and the culture. Beaches kind of do not make up for that.) And the data retention / surveillance state. This has been turned into a fine art in Australia.

....

So, in short, if you live in Australia, you should be using a good quality VPN . They are not yet illegal  - but there have been discussions from time to time of making them so. And stay off social media.

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On 5/16/2022 at 5:25 PM, Saffron said:

So good to read these enlcightened comments. If this isn't off topic...What is the best way to access an Australian bank account, from within Australia, since there is no Australian server? Would it work to use the free ProtonVPN over Eddie, for example? (Banks don't allow Tor connections.)
There is a NZ server here on AirVPN, perhaps try that as well?

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On 5/16/2022 at 3:25 PM, Saffron said:

So good to read these enlcightened comments. If this isn't off topic...What is the best way to access an Australian bank account, from within Australia, since there is no Australian server? Would it work to use the free ProtonVPN over Eddie, for example? (Banks don't allow Tor connections.)
Hi there. I use the NZ server to access my Australian bank account, or my Mullvad vpn and use and Australian server. The banks have no problems with this. Long before covid, when I was in Europe I accessed my accounts via airvpn and had no difficulties. 

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On 5/19/2022 at 4:04 PM, amazeballs said:

Very interesting posts here, cheers!

I understand we all use AirVPN here, but has anyone used the Apple Private Relay facility for sites that can't be reached via AirVPN for some reason?
Does anyone have any opinion on the privacy implications of using that function?   

It's so long since I read the forum and was reading the post and saying, yeah, exactly right and then realised it was my ranting from a few years ago, but still relevant.
However, I have not used Apple Private Relay and had to google to find out what it was. I found this:

Private Relay is a privacy feature that allows you to hide personal information, including your DNS records and IP address, from websites when browsing Safari. 

This doesn’t mean that nobody will see this information, but it does mean that no one party will be able to track both who you are and which websites you’re visiting. The feature prevents your network provider, the websites you visit and even Apple itself from building a comprehensive profile based on your browsing history. Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com/explainer/what-is-apple-private-relay-4219322
Firefox, it seems, can do the same to mask your DNS and IP, but it may take a bit of fiddling: https://www.lifewire.com/disabling-geo-ip-in-firefox-3971347
Other folks here who are experts can provide more info and would know more. For my, I use air and mullvad. and always clear my browser cache. Amongst other things. 

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Many, many thanks for these comments and help. I've been offline for a few weeks, so didn't reply earlier, but will look at the links and info given here. How apt and true are the comments on surveillance and repression..I had a poster on public display removed because it criticized the government, also was denied employment etc.  All that can lead to unreasonable(?) paranoia .So if any of you kind people have suggestions for discovering what is actually going on (with my technology mainly), I welcome your suggestions. Especially about mobile phones. I hardly use mine and every time I do I wonder who is listening. The internet is turned off (but is it really?) and I only use it for sms and voice calls. Maybe this is the wrong forum for such a discussion, but any info is helpful. Thanks again.

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