Poor iPreditor, the VPN company formed by Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde, has been having some trouble of late, what with having Payson refuse to process Visa and Mastercard payments from it, and PayPal freezing its account (now resolved). Now popular electronic payment method Paysafecard has decided to join in the fun with a general crackdown on VPN providers, starting with iPredator.
Paysafecard works by allowing users to anonymously exchange cash for an eVoucher with a 16 digit PIN code that can be entered and used as payment at over 4000 web stores, including Rapidshare and Moneyservers. The vouchers can be purchased over the counter at almost half a million stores in over 30 countries.
Following their troubles with Payson and Paypal, iPredator tried to sign up for the Paysafecard service, but were declined after being told the ‘we don’t work with VPN services’.
Web freedom activist organization TorrentFreak contacted Paysafecard regarding the issue, and was told that Paysafecard doesn’t accept VPN services because:
“In terms of security it is seen as a very high risk for paysafecard, because you cannot trace where the information is coming from… In many cases VPN services are used for businesses which have something to hide – this can be any illegal business because if the IP address is spoofed, you cannot trace where all the information is coming from. People can hide a lot of illegal content and you will never be able to detect the original source.”
While this may be true to a limited extent, the ban is perplexing as there are many very legitimate uses of VPN (for example by political dissidents, whistle blowers and anyone who even slightly gives a damn about the notion of a right to privacy), VPN is legal pretty near everywhere, there is no evidence of widespread abuse of VPN services, and at the end of the day, such is the price of freedom… In case you are reading this because you need a VPN service, start reading this page.