Private Internet Access is a very well reviewed and respected VPN provider which prides itself on three things:
- Having the most servers out of any VPN we know of (3200+ right now).
- They’re no hidden tricks no-logging policy.
- Being in an a growing number of countries.
It appears as if number 2 and number 3 have finally come in conflict with one another as it is rumoured that Russian authorities have seized some of their servers in Russia as part of a crackdown on encryption, and severe surveillance laws.
Private Internet Access server seizure in Russia
PIA’s response to their server seizure
PIA was quick to send out an email to its users warning of a possible seizure of their Russian servers early this morning. They are pretty sure that this action would have been taken against them because of their strict no-logging policy as this doesn’t match well with Russia let-us-see-everything-you-criminal laws just enacted.
The first set of laws, from September of 2015, mandates that all web services must store user data within Russia. It may also mean that foreign companies have to place servers in Russia for the authorities to access.
These most recent laws have upped the pressure on anyone in a digital job considerably. Even Snowden had a say on all this Russian horribleness:
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) July 7, 2016
Email message sent to users over server seizure
For more on this, I turn to the email sent out by PIA:
“We believe that due to the enforcement regime surrounding this new law, some of our Russian Servers (RU) were recently seized by Russian Authorities, without notice or any type of due process. We think it’s because we are the most outspoken and only verified no-log VPN provider.”
Because of this, PIA has decided to no longer do business in Russia:
“Upon learning of the [seizures], we immediately discontinued our Russian gateways and will no longer be doing business in the region.”
But, of course, there is minimal worry for PIA users:
“Luckily, since we do not log any traffic or session data, period, no data has been compromised. Our users are, and will always be, private and secure.”
What? That doesn’t make you feel better. Okay:
“To make it clear, the privacy and security of our users is our number one priority. For preventative reasons, we are rotating all of our certificates. Furthermore, we’re updating our client applications with improved security measures to mitigate circumstances like this in the future, on top of what is already in place.”
If you use PIA, it would be wise to update your desktop client, and your Android client.
The future of PIA’s servers
Private Internet Access does not make a joke of the first part of their name at all. They have taken the time to look at this situation and evaluate that it’s time for them to look at other countries they are in. They will update their clients on any changes to server countries should they decide to pull out of more countries which are hell bent on compromising privacy online.