Putting the ‘P’ Back Into VPN

by on November 22, 2009

It’s now clear that the government wants to control people’s use of the Internet, ostensibly on behalf of the media industry, but more likely in the longer term because (to paraphrase William Burroughs) control always needs more control.

For a while now I’ve been thinking whether it might be time to tunnel my Internet traffic over a VPN to somewhere that’s not on my ISP’s network. That way, I absolve my ISP from having to monitor that traffic (because they wouldn’t be able to), and I get some privacy.

A back-of-the-envelope idea for this would be as follows:

1. Purchase off-shore hosting deal (US servers can be had for about £10 a month with more than enough bandwidth).

2. Install OpenVPN on said server (maybe throw in a Tor server for good measure).

3. Route all traffic through that.

Of course, it means more expense, more hassle and possibly less speed (definitely less if I proxy through Tor) but compared to being subject to a panopticon every time I sit down at my computer, I think it may be worth it. If the UK’s Digital Economy Bill comes into law as currently drafted, I think defensive action may be in order.


You could probably make quite a nice income offering that sort of service to paranoiacs and libertarians such as yourself.

Nice idea! Mind you, somebody pointed out that there have been reports of ISPs simply throttling all encrypted traffic, so maybe I might have to investigate some kind of steganographic tactic to get around that. Hmm. Life’s tough when they’re out to get you.

even Win95 had the option (via ISDN addon) to use multiple links, so you could feasibly use your own broadband plus whatever open WiFi you can see to regain some speed. Multiple WiFi dongles should be possible in this scenario – ask your local hackers :)

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