We’re now in 2020, Ghosties, and you know what that means.
New year, new opportunities for updates, extra features, and network expansions. And lots of vision perfect puns.
We’re planning on releasing a lot of goodies this year, so make sure you stay tuned.
But first thing’s first.
Let’s finish what we started in 2019: our quarterly Transparency Reports.
The final piece of the 2019 puzzle
In 2011, we published our first Transparency Report.
Since then, we’ve always aimed to be as transparent as possible with what we’re doing behind the scenes.
Hitting publish on our Transparency Reports became a tradition we now hold dear.
In 2019, we decided to try something different: updating our numbers quarterly.
You can read our previous editions here:
Without further ado, here are the stats for October, November, and December 2019, aka Q4 2019.
Our Q4 numbers
Quite a busy time before the holidays, huh?
This time around, we got a 77.9% percent increase in requests coming our way!
Let’s break it down and look at our:
- DMCA complaints;
- Malicious activity flags;
- Police requests.
DMCA complaints are copyright infringement claims.
So, various companies filed DMCA notices when copyrighted material has been shared illegally using a CyberGhost VPN IP address.
This type of request adds up to roughly 48% of what we received these past three months.
With more time off and bad weather in some parts of the world, you might get an idea why the number of requests in this category skyrocketed in December.
Looking at the bigger picture, DMCA complaints increased by 4% in Q4 compared to Q3.
Malicious activity flags
We usually get this kind of notice when abusive or suspicious activity is detected as coming from one of our IP addresses. This includes behavior ranging from DDoS attacks to automated spam emails, botnets, scams, or suspicious login attempts.
Malicious activity flags represent about 51% of all the requests we got in Q4.
But you can see the numbers slowly decreasing month by month.
In Q3, we got 4,737 such inquiries, with a 407% increase in Q4. Some people must have ended up on Santa’s naughty list.
Various law enforcement agencies and police departments from all over the world send us such inquiries. Typically, if they trace back an IP address used for illegal activity back to our datacenter, they will ask for more details for their investigation.
Usually, they’re after the original IP address of the perpetrator. Other times, they want some sort of activity logs – we have none.
Less than 1% of all the requests we receive are from the police.
Here, there’s only a slight increase from our Q3 statistics, from 16 to 21.
Our mission continues in 2020
Privacy is something we never took lightly.
That’s why we have a strong No Logs policy, don’t collaborate with the authorities, and only use the highest security standards on both our apps and VPN servers.
It’s also why we’re headquartered in Bucharest, Romania. The data privacy legislation really suits us here.
Data Protection Law, E-Privacy Law, and E-Commerce Law are all strictly regulated in Romania to ensure privacy. We also have a public authority, the National Authority for the Supervision of Personal Data Processing, which regularly verifies all companies operating in Romania, to make sure they are GDPR-compliant.
In this judicial climate, we are never under any obligation to keep logs on our users’ activity.
What’s more, we are outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes surveillance alliances in this country. This gives us the power to refuse to cooperate with any foreign law enforcement agency.
We’ve been protecting digital lives for more than 15 years now, and we’re very proud to have over 36 million users all around the world.
In 2020, we’ll continue enforcing our policies, regularly updating our products, and publishing our quarterly Transparency Reports.
So, make sure to keep an eye out for news from us.
Until next time, stay safe and secure!