General

Importance of Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) in the Era of Invasive Regimes and Corporations

Sharing is Supporting Islam

Across the world people are faced with increased massive surveillance, censorship and tracking by regimes and corporations. As for the governments they are attempting to protect their power and legitimacy in countering national and global accountability by the people. The masses are exposing the regimes’ disastrous policies and laws based on their invalid secular capitalist ideology. On the other hand, corporations are aiming to raise their revenues and outdo competition. Both sides either in partnership or each separately deploy digital tactics and methods that influence passing of new or bypassing established policies and laws to meet their respective objects.

Consequently, the number of people who adopt the use of VPN keeps growing as they seek protection from the risks of surveillance, data collection and security threats. So, a VPN enables you to access the internet with more security and privacy. In addition, it gives you the ability to dodge censorship and content restrictions. The VPN is capable to do all that by creating an encrypted connection between your device/computer (desktop/laptop/tablet/smartphone/tv etc.) and a VPN server. Therefore, you access the internet via the encrypted connection and your location is the server you are connected to.

It is imperative to note that when you access the internet without using a VPN, everything you do is traceable to your physical location and the device you are using. It is possible via the device’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. It means that when you use a VPN your real location and IP address are hidden, by being replaced by the VPN server you are using. However, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or anyone monitoring your internet can see that you are connected to a VPN server; but, cannot log (record) your data (online activities). Also, when you are using VPN it is important to use a secure browser and an advertisement blocker. Always go for premium VPNs and avoid the freemium ones. Numerous researches have confirmed that most freemium VPNs log, leak and trade user data. Still, Premium VPNs can enable you to configure your Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and obfuscate your connection to a VPN server.

In a summary a VPN is used for purposes of privacy, security and unrestricted access. To be specific a VPN offers you: 1- online anonymity by hiding your IP address and geographic location, 2- access to censored websites and content, 3- protection against hackers/spies when using both private and public Wi-Fi networks, 4- protects your private data (passwords etc.).

In this era where the project of democracy is drowning from crisis to crisis, regimes have resulted to brutal means to safeguard their authority. In their doing so, they have exposed the fallacious nature of the so-called personal freedom and freedom of expression that are part of the foundations of democracy. Unsurprisingly in the United States, internet service providers are able to legally log your data and sell it to advertisers or hand it over to surveillance agencies. Furthermore, in the UK internet and telephone companies are legally required to record all customers’ data (browsing history, text messages and location) and hand over to UK agencies. That confirms the approach of the former and current superpower states in their quest to shield themselves from the masses wrath by instilling fear. The situation in other nations is extremely deplorable!

The use of VPNs will surge as chaos continue to choke democratic regimes. Forcing people to seek alternative means and platforms to express themselves and account their rulers.

The most fundamental panacea to a safer world that thrive in genuine accountability and access to information can be achieved via the reestablishment of the Islamic State of Khilafah (Caliphate) on the method of Prophethood. An Islamic government that does not spy on its citizens unless dictated by the Shari’ah (Qur’an and Sunnah) to do so in special circumstance in relation to an enemy. In addition, it will strive to build in its citizens an Islamic personality. Hence, the citizens will be influenced by the Islamic personality in their day to day lives.

Citizens who are influenced by an Islamic personality will always strive to ensure peace and stability within the Khilafah. On the contrary anyone who will engage in causing strife will be treated as per the Shari’ah not by the whims of those in authority as witnessed today in these current despotic regimes across the world. The ruler, Khalifah is a citizen like any other before the Shari’ah and has no immunity from his actions like what is accorded to the current rulers (presidents/kings/prime ministers etc.). The Khilafah will draw and implement a policy framework that will guide citizens on their use of internet and other technology related services. InshaAllah.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by

Ali Nassoro Ali

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir