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YLwpLUbcf77U

ANSWERED AirVPN’s Twitter…

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I know Air cares a lot about protecting *against* (edit:  forgot an important word here) censorship across the world, but is it necessary to turn their company Twitter into a 24/7 ‘Free Assange’ machine? I like to follow it for finding out new info about VPN servers and things of that matter. Up until a few weeks ago, it was relatively dormant and only seemed to tweet when there was new things about the company*. Now it’s almost turning into an echo chamber for the “anti-MSM” crowd.
(*yes, you may be run by activists, but you are a business. Don’t forget that).

As a business owner who does do a lot of social, one of the most important pieces of advice I can give is to separate the politics from your company unless there’s a 1000% connection between the two. I don’t think Assange was an AirVPN user and whether or not you agree with his treatment as of late, it probably doesn’t impact the AirVPN service in any way. I’m also sure there are many other instances of freedom of speech being trampled upon that don’t involve him yet do involve presumably innocent people being jailed for speaking the truth. Whoever is running that Twitter should make a separate personal account and use that as his soapbox as it could lead to potential new users deciding to use a less political VPN provider.


https://twitter.com/airvpn

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Agree, but it's just a way of grey SEO tactic, not as dirty ones as other VPN services do by hijacking all possible privacy and censorship related hashtags for example.
Just like you would do with classic search engines and meta tags for common terms and place them strategically on your index-able pages.

The assumption here is that when people look for that material on Twitter, they will land on "ads" for the VPN service, which promotes pro-whoever
speech thus implying the service is pro-privacy, but not with blatant "Buy our VPN! #FreeAssange" nonsense where only the hashtag is hijacked.
Social media is mainly used as a marketing machine these days, if you want just service updates the Announcement area is a better place to look at.
You can also subscribe to notifications in the forums, so you won't miss anything.
 

4 hours ago, YLwpLUbcf77U said:

I don’t think Assange was an AirVPN user


Maybe not an Air user, but he is a Tor user, so with 10+ more sponsored exits it's "hard" not to pass via Torservers nodes which they sponsor.
They also donated alot to Wikileaks directly, which is Assange's "Escobar stash" so to speak :)
The downside is that is a subject to another topic, that Air can be now sanctioned as an activist movement supporting WL with all the
possible implications, you are free to open this discussion if you like.
I don't have a personal opinion if this move was good or bad, and I am not a big Assange supporter myself. Personally I think he is a great
marketing oriented new-age reporter who uses the work/leaks of others to make them appear in the world news.
Snowden, with the help of a few mostly anonymous people made significantly more actual contributions without this controversial image.



//
I am not the person running the Twitter, just explaining logic behind it and why businesses do it on Black Friday for example (the #BF hashtag)
Still, it's much better than paying to those garbage fake review sites and all the paid shills who promote the service for money on social media.

And Air doesn't have pay for advertising, at least not in a way it would imply paid advertising. It does sponsors many projects, and of course users
come to Air because they searched for some project and found Air on the way (just like I did in 2012). It's a very small number of users, but they are
valuable, since they don't just look to download 100TB of torrents per month, send spam, complain if they have speed less than their ISP promised them
or open 1000 fake profiles and get the entire datacenter banned on this site. Those are the best users who actually use VPNs for what it was intended for.
The only way to find such users, who are not much into VPNs since they have other priorities in life, is via social media.


Occasional moderator, sometimes BOFH. Opinions are my own, except when my wife disagrees.

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4 hours ago, zhang888 said:

...
The assumption here is that when people look for that material on Twitter, they will land on "ads" for the VPN service, which promotes pro-whoever
speech thus implying the service is pro-privacy, but ...


So it is a marketing effort?
 
4 hours ago, zhang888 said:
...
It's a very small number of users, but they are

valuable, ...
Those are the best users who actually use VPNs for what it was intended for.
...


Many businesses would say their "best" users were the ones who pay the bills.
I don't doubt that AirVPN's primary interest is in providing a way in which people at risk of unjust retaliation can have privacy. But bills have to be paid. And those folks are not typically in a position to pay the bills.
It think it behooves any business not to risk alienating those users who pay the bills. Everybody is in favour of privacy. Right up until specifics get discussed.
 

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All Air is doing is putting a target on their back and making their political viewpoints known.

At this time it's only comfortable to place a year's service at a time (over 3 years) since with their recent statements I can't see where there are no reprocussions for their actions.

Users should be weary of what may come as a result - some really really dislike Chelsea Manning and Air is controdicting that viewpoint.

It'd be like air donating to a 'end Scientology' movement.

I never expected Air to push their "agenda" in this way and have little confidence that there will be no reprocussions, I wonder if Air are willing to deal with them (and hope that their opsec is absolutely faultless).

Only time will tell, but not an advisable move.

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Consistently successful enterprises in service/product industries tend to defer from public disclosures/pronouncements/manifestos/agendas of controversy (especially known hot buttons--political, religious, etc.) due to the potential for consequences, anticipated or otherwise. AIR is a first-rate service enterprise; as such, I am content with the service. Whether or not I agree with its mgmt team's political opinion is irrelevant. Nor do I appreciate such proselytizing of said pronouncements/manifestos/agendas/etc. I would rather such controversial commentary were kept separate from the business; but then, that's just my opinion.   

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@ zhang888:

There are some controversies about Assange, but many observers would agree that his work has a major and important impact:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/13/wikileaks-not-perfect-but-more-important-than-ever-for-free-speech

Further, it might be that the criticism Assange is facing is, at least partially, unjustified. For example, Nils Melzer, "United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment", said:

"... I had been affected by the same misguided smear campaign as everybody else, and only saw the real facts once I investigated in detail."
?url=https%3A%5C%2F%5C%2Ftwitter.com%5C%?url=https%3A%5C%2F%5C%2Ftwitter.com%5C%
?url=https%3A%5C%2F%5C%2Ftwitter.com%5C%Further, many people, including those who do not like him very much, consider the current indictment as a very serious threat to the freedom of journalism in general:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/23/opinion/julian-assange-wikileaks.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FAssange%2C Julian P.&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=collection

This alone might be a good reason for those who value free journalism and privacy (and you will probably not have the one without the other) to worry.  

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Quote

I know Air cares a lot about protecting *against* (edit:  forgot an important word here) censorship across the world, but is it necessary to turn their company Twitter into a 24/7 ‘Free Assange’ machine? I like to follow it for finding out new info about VPN servers and things of that matter.


Thank you, we understand the problem you face. It can be easily solved by following exclusively the RSS feed of our "News" forum. In the "News" forum you will find what you need without side content interfering with info purely related to internal AirVPN matters.
 
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(*yes, you may be run by activists, but you are a business. Don’t forget that).


Original AirVPN founders bound AirVPN activities to a clear mission https://airvpn.org/mission
 
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it probably doesn’t impact the AirVPN service in any way.


It does, in ways that are not obvious, but surface when you put all the pieces together. The outcome of the coordinated efforts to limit the activities of services like ours, as well as other services aimed to enhance privacy and/or freedom of expression, through different plans including putting an end to effective encryption for everyone, has anyway become visible in the last 12-15 months, we talked about it recently in "News".

Also, we must not forget how certain technical decisions which directly and beneficially impacted our customers, for example 4096 bit DH keys and our decision to not use ECC in OpenVPN, are direct consequences of what we know even thanks to WikiLeaks, and not random decisions which turned out to be great for some incredible series of strokes of luck.
 
Quote

 


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Agree, but it's just a way of grey SEO tactic, not as dirty ones as other VPN services do by hijacking all possible privacy and censorship related hashtags for example.


We are very sorry if you got this impression. It has nothing to do with that, it's rather a normal action to comply to AirVPN mission. While it's true that in the past most actions compliant to our mission had a good marketing side effect, the purpose with which they are performed is not for business. On the other hand, it's also true that when someone accepts to support AirVPN, he/she sees that the mission statement is quite different from any other VPN service on Earth.
 
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Snowden, with the help of a few mostly anonymous people made significantly more actual contributions without this controversial image.


Apple and oranges, as Snowden is a whistleblower and Assange a journalist and a publisher.

It's worth noting that it's very much possible that Snowden would have disappeared, or at least tortured and imprisoned in terrible conditions, if Assange did not intervene. It's possible that Assange intervention saved Snowden life, according to the public documentation available. It's also worth noting that Chelsea Manning contacted both the New York Times and the Washington Post, and they were "uninterested" in her revelations, or too scared to publish them. Manning ended up to WikiLeaks only because the NYT and the WP did not have the care to go deeper into material checking and the courage Assange both had.
 
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All Air is doing is putting a target on their back and making their political viewpoints known.


That's very interesting. Please feel free to elaborate on how our political viewpoint could possibly be hidden as we published our mission at AirVPN birth. AirVPN mission is the very reason which AirVPN exists for.

In your opinion, and here matter becomes even more interesting, why a political mission which states that the company must operate at the best of its abilities in defense of privacy, freedom of expression and against censorship should be kept hidden in Western democracies? Feel free to be explicit with threats, no need to post veiled threats.

Kind regards
 

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I would rather see AirVPN's official twitter account used for timely information regarding the service itself and for actual promotional posts rather than to disseminate divisive political arguments.

Snowden is widely appreciated globally outside limited jingoistic and militaristic circles in the USA.

Assange is a very different type of personality who was initially widely appreciated, but turned out highly partisan with odd loyalties towards the enemies of liberal democracy.

I do understand why some digital freedom activists or anarchists still see him as a hero, but I hope AirVPN appreciates the fact that Assange's legacy is seen as tainted or at minimum controversial by many other freedom activists.

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2 hours ago, encrypted said:

...
I do understand why some digital freedom activists or anarchists still see him as a hero, ...


I think one should keep in mind that it may be in ones own self-interest to defend even an asshole (which it seems Assange may well be) from unjust retribution, particularly when it would set a legal precedent that could affect us all, There was a written article on the BBC News site recently that I found useful.

"Viewpoint: What Assange charges could mean for press freedom":

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48393512

This guy sure makes a poor poster boy for press freedom. It serves the purposes of those who want to stifle the press perfectly.

Having said this, I am still a bit worried that AirVPN may alienate quite a few customers.
 

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@encrypted @NaDre agree.
Maybe some of Air's missions can be considered political to some people.

And I do agree that comparing Snowden to Assange is Apples and Oranges.
I have very little sympathy with Assange and Manning and will never consider them some
kind of heroes or modern day martyrs. Maybe people with courage and a will to go for an idea.
Snowden on the other hand, knew exactly what he is facing and didn't ask too much in return,
in fact even now he has no official "fund" and no media behind him, kind of forgotten you may say.

In any case Air donates at least something of the profits to people who eventually fight for privacy.
We don't see many garbage providers doing that, instead they prefer to spend on advertising.

You can't tell a business provider where to donate it's profit funds. They either do it or not.
They can donate it to North Korea for all it takes if they wanted to, and not inform the public.


 

On 6/4/2019 at 12:14 PM, Staff said:

We are very sorry if you got this impression. It has nothing to do with that, it's rather a normal action to comply to AirVPN mission. While it's true that in the past most actions compliant to our mission had a good marketing side effect, the purpose with which they are performed is not for business. On the other hand, it's also true that when someone accepts to support AirVPN, he/she sees that the mission statement is quite different from any other VPN service on Earth.


When you want to support some mission or a cause, it's enough to do it privately
and with a small mention on the front page @Staff.
Just like you know to where I requested to donate my bug bounty findings and keep it private.

When you make it public it's either you support this idea "way too much" or just want to make a
publicity from this. Either one of them does not make a business look entirely neutral.


Occasional moderator, sometimes BOFH. Opinions are my own, except when my wife disagrees.

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@zhang888

Hi!

Re: Snowden

On top of what you say, Snowden never forgot the people who saved his life and vigorously tries to defend them with the weight of his reputation and making the world aware of their conditions, including Julian Assange, who played an extraordinary role, and the brave family with children who sheltered him in Hong Kong while he was hunted (they are still persecuted for that).
https://twitter.com/SCMPNews/status/1133498183391125504

The Courage Foundation, created by WikiLeaks and strongly wanted by Assange as well, is still funding Snowden too. Trust advisers of the Courage Foundation include John Pilger, Daniel Ellsberg, Renata Avila, the Pussy Riot, Annie Machon... https://www.couragefound.org/who-we-support/

It's hard to make a distinction on moral grounds between Snowden and Manning. As Snowden explains here: https://edwardsnowden.com/frequently-asked-questions/#why-snowden-did-not-voice-complaints-within-the-system following internal intelligence channels would have been pointless in his case. Even more so for Manning, as her denounces pertained not only to highly illegal activities as revealed by Snowden, but even on war crimes including deliberate assassinations of journalists and children and torture which was known and approved by the highest levels not only of the Intelligence, but by the leaders of a country.

An important difference between Snowden and Manning and Assange on the perception by the public opinion is that the concerted smear campaign to "assassinate characters" has been more effective against Manning and Assange. In the case of Snowden, it succeeded only in insinuating the macroscopic lie according to which Snowden would not have given credit to Assange in his extraordinary and courageous journalistic role and his decisive actions to save Snowden's life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooC8DOW1TBk, but this lie was quickly exposed by Snowden himself and other real journalists. Snowden also claimed that his decision to cooperate with Greenwald and not WikiLeaks does not mean in any way that WikiLeaks is NOT a totally legitimate model.

It is also mandatory to remember, in honor of Chelsea Manning, that she resisted months of brutal torture and years of imprisonment (she is again in jail now) aimed to force her to lie and fabricate accusations against Assange. Even Assange was and is victim of various infringement of human rights, as the United Nations found with the reports from the Arbitrary Detention Working Group, and the findings of the Special Rapporteur on Torture, including arbitrary detention https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17012&LangID=E , torture, vilification of human dignity through countries ganging up and denial of access to medical support. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24665&LangID=E

Therefore, it's enigmatic to show respect to Snowden and not to Manning, and/or to Snowden and not to the man who saved his life. But then again, this might be just another success of the huge smear campaigns.
 
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Just like you know to where I requested to donate my bug bounty findings and keep it private.


Here we might have had a misunderstanding, our bad. We will keep in touch in private to understand whether you want the publication or not.
 
Quote


When you make it public it's either you support this idea "way too much" or just want to make a
publicity from this. Either one of them does not make a business look entirely neutral.


True. Our mission is clear https://airvpn.org/mission and of course it does not imply neutrality when we come to defend privacy, freedom of speech, freedom to access and impart information, which are all fundamental rights. Our neutrality pertains of course to keep our infrastructure protocol agnostic.

We also do not intervene lightly. We must have absolute certainty and excellent documentation before we intervene. You will have noticed that since 2012 and up to April 2019 we had never taken a position about Assange.

Honest, declared partiality toward defense of specific human rights and high transparency are, in our opinion, a good feature of AirVPN. So far, we think that AirVPN is a fairly good example of how a business can be conducted in a totally ethic way and can be successful without relying on marketing fluff.

Kind regards

 

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No misunderstandings, just a small
mis interpretation of what does it
means to protect human rights or
how it fills in your mission. This is
where I am totally on the side of the
users who think that doing something
too much is worse than doing it in the
first place. I have many examples but
dont want to derail it more.

What I mean, and I think what others
meant as well, is just simply donating
and putting on the "supported"page is
one thing, and this is where the true
support ends, re-posting it again and
again just feels like 8 sugar in the tea.

This is my 2 rupees.


Occasional moderator, sometimes BOFH. Opinions are my own, except when my wife disagrees.

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17 hours ago, zhang888 said:


What I mean, and I think what others
meant as well, is just simply donating
and putting on the "supported"page is
one thing, and this is where the true
support ends, re-posting it again and
again just feels like 8 sugar in the tea.

This is my 2 rupees.


Thanks. Anyway we have never published twice the same thing.

A quick note on unsubstantiated claims about Assange or Manning published even in this thread, meaning that disinformation pollution is still widespread. For example Encrypted's nonsense about Assange's "odd loyalties towards the enemies of liberal democracy." is curious. It's a sentence that propaganda actors are trained to put down against Assange and others in an obsessive, coordinated way to trigger repetition by message recipients according to a well known psychological effect.

Coordination and psychology tactics have refined since when smear campaigns were conducted against, say, Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.

Just to make an example which is straight in front of our faces, check Tor Project and the smear campaign against Jacob Appelbaum, based on sexual assaults claims which were never proven (and not even brought to a court), similarly to smear campaign against Assange. They caused a damage to Tor Project, especially because they lost their most valuable asset, even after their "internal investigation", but the real target was someone with high profile who dared to work with WikiLeaks. A clear, intimidatory message to the whole community.

By the way, when we sponsored Tor Project and OONI we were criticized exactly because we supported an organization whose a leading actor was a "potential rapist". Can you see how powerful and pervasive smear campaigns have become? They are so pervasive that even small companies like ours are noted and addressed when supporting someone or something that's defamed.

Of course, the fact that the allegations against Mr. Appelbaum never became formal, legal charges of anything were not noticed by those "critics", and did not change the fact that we were pressured to not donate to Tor Project. We wonder what those persons full of shit have to say nowadays (probably nothing because they have no sense of dignity, just like those who smear Assange now).

If you consider that such pressures are brought against small companies like ours that provide negligible donations when compared to Tor financing, you can have a more accurate picture about the pervasiveness and extent of smear campaigns and how people is willing to renounce to the principle of presumption of innocence when it pertains to the target of a smear campaign.

It's important to note that those smear campaigns target even you, us and everybody using or offering easy to use encryption services, because they are all born from the identical, very same political agenda. Maybe you can remember after the Paris attacks that the CIA said that those who offer encryption services on the Internet and those who instruct how to use those services have "blood on their hands" (if you don't, check here for example https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1126-greenwald-snowden-paris-encryption-20151126-story.html ).

It is imperative that more and more people get their heads out of their asses and look at the bigger picture, at least to slow down the progressive dismantling or co-opting of any and each service which is not compliant to the wishes of the so called "deep state".

Kind regards
 

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On 6/8/2019 at 12:19 PM, Staff said:

campaign against Jacob Appelbaum, based on sexual assaults claims which were never proven (and not even brought to a court)


Actually I know personally one of those "alleged" victims and it wasn't a deliberate shaming campaign.
I found it ultimately surprising in 2017 since J.A. presented himself as the member of the "community" where
I was totally sure that he will only prefer his own "type" to be friendly with, again I was wrong since
apparently there are many "preference" complications which I have hard time to figure out, we don't have
this kind of behavior in the place I used to grow at. You either like one type or another, but when you make
it to everyone else so complicated and you use this to exploit other members I find it, at least for my case, not
only unacceptable but actually very surprising. I am not familiar with all this "Bi-thing" and whatever it might
mean, and in fact I prefer to stay completely careless on that matter. There was definitely a malicious act
involved here, which I won't go into details since I prefer to know less. But the allegations are correct.

 

Occasional moderator, sometimes BOFH. Opinions are my own, except when my wife disagrees.

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14 hours ago, zhang888 said:
involved here, which I won't go into details since I prefer to know less. But the allegations are correct.

Hello!

What allegations are correct? For "correct" do you mean at least pressed as charges by a prosecutor? Otherwise your claims are unsubstantiated and play as a part of the smear campaign itself.

Because, and it is worth to repeat it, none of the allegations that tried to frame Jacob Appelbaum, (WikiLeaks, Tor Project advocate), Trevor Fitzgibbons (Edward Snowden PR, publisher, WikiLeaks PR), Julian Assange (WikiLeaks), Nadim Kobeissi (Cryptocat) and Peter Todd (Bitcoin Core former developer) as serial rapists arrived at any court, and no prosecutor pressed charges against any of them so far.

It is also worth noting that the campaigns to make Appelbaum, Kobeissi and Todd appear as rapists started from claims of the same person (Isis Agora Lovecruft), and that Peter Todd has sued Isis for defamation.

According to Todd's lawyers, Isis Agora Lovecruft wanted that Todd condemned some person she was accusing of rape publicly, which is an infamous trick to re-inforce a smear campaign: have a third-party condemning the alleged acts of some person before any charges are brought against that person and before any allegation verification goes through a due process with presumption of innocence and a fair trial.

When Todd refused to condemn publicly that person (probably Kobeissi). Isis Agora Lovecruft accused EVEN Todd of rape and sexual assault:
https://bitcoinwarrior.net/2019/04/former-bitcoin-core-developer-peter-todd-faces-rape-allegations-refutes-with-defamation-suit/

So Isis is accusing three different persons (Appelbaum, Kobeissi and Todd) of very serious crimes and currently none of them has had charges pressed against (so they did not even need to defend in a court, so far).

Anyone who forgets presumption of innocence commits a paramount mistake that weakens human rights and strengthens the intelligence tactics based on smear campaigns since a century ago. The readiness through which some people in the "Western countries" are eager to forget the most fundamental rights is very dangerous and must be fought relentlessly, without any tiny hesitation.

Further references:
https://contraspin.co.nz/freeing-julian-assange-part-one/

Kind regards
 

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