Back in 2011, when we first published our Transparency Report, we never would have imagined a time when everyone was at home, relying solely on internet connections for work, entertainment, shopping, and socializing.
But here we are now, reminiscing how life used to be and dreaming of more precedented times.
A lot has changed in the past three months, and new realities reflect in our Transparency Report numbers as well.
Let’s see what’s been happening.
Legal requests in a world turned upside down
That’s how many DMCA complaints, malicious activity flags, and police requests we got in the past three months.
Compared to the beginning of the year, that’s a whopping 37% decrease!
You might think such a drop is unusual since many people around the world spent a lot more time online in lockdown. But the explanation is quite simple and tied to a sad reality. Companies that used to send us requests worked less in the past quarter, if at all.
We only saw a significant increase in the number of police requests we got, even if their priorities were undoubtedly affected by the pandemic.
As you go through this Transparency Report, just keep one thing in mind: we have a strict no-logs policy. We have nothing to share with the authorities and can’t comply with their requests.
Here at CyberGhost, we’ve always followed the Privacy by Design principle. We don’t collect any type of data we don’t absolutely need. It’s the most reliable approach for us to provide you with secure infrastructure and protect your digital privacy.Timo Beyel, CTO, CyberGhost VPN
Let’s take a closer look at things.
DMCA takedowns are copyright infringement claims. They signal someone illegally shared material using a CyberGhost VPN IP address.
We got 39% fewer DMCA takedowns in Q2 compared to Q1.
Typically, these are the most common requests we receive. And even in April, May, and June 2020, they made up 91% of all the demands we got.
Malicious activity flags
When we get flagged for malicious activity by the authorities, it’s because someone used a CyberGhost VPN IP address for something shady online.
Compared to Q1, there’s a 26% decrease in our malicious activity flags in Q2.
However, percentages are still fairly consistent. In Q2, 8% of all the requests we got were tied to malicious activities. In Q1, that figure was at 7%.
When law enforcement agencies trace an IP used for something illegal back to our data centers, they can ask for more data.
Typically, they’re looking for the original IP of the supposed perpetrator. But, since we keep no logs, we have no data to share with them.
This number increased by a dramatic 400%! It’s alarming, and it reflects a world more surveilled than ever. Now murky contact-tracing apps, COVID-19 scammers and fraudsters, and unique threats targeting people working remotely are the norm.
As usual, police requests make up less than 1% in our total.
Another six months left for improvement
Since our very beginning, we’ve advocated for privacy as a fundamental human right. But to fulfill our promise, we always need to be ahead of the game.
Even during the pandemic, it’s been business as usual for us. We didn’t skip a beat, and we delivered like no other.
Here some of the things we did.
We’re no longer supporting L2TP and PPTP protocols
With more governments using complex surveillance methods, real-time deep packet inspection systems, and elaborate data-mining solutions, we need to make sure we’re always keeping you safe online.
Since L2TP and PPTP have become outdated in terms of encryption, we dropped them.
You can now use WireGuard® with CyberGhost VPN
Protocol customization is essential, and we love providing you with a variety of secure and fast options. Naturally, WireGuard® caught our eye.
This is an open-source protocol that combines the security of OpenVPN and the speed of IPsec.
You can find it in our iOS and Linux apps, with the rest following suit soon.
Our Secret Photo Vault is here
All you iOS loving Ghosties out there, this one is for you.
You can now use our Secret Photo Vault to keep your private photos and videos locked behind a code or your biometric login.
We’ve partnered up with PassCamp
Password security software is a must nowadays since that sensitive data is hacker’s honeypot. For your privacy and security, we teamed up with PassCamp.
PassCamp is a cloud-based password manager that lets you create strong, unique passwords and stores them for you in a secure environment.
You can now get it as an add-on with your CyberGhost VPN subscription.
Our fight for privacy continues
In 2019, we pushed for more transparency in the VPN industry.
Leading by example, we started publishing quarterly editions of our transparency report. If you missed them, they’re all here:
Throughout the rest of 2020, we’ll continue reporting the number of legal requests we receive every three months.
Stay tuned and subscribe to our newsletter to find out more about what we’re doing.
Until next time, stay safe and secure!
“WireGuard” is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.