Using VPN servers in high-risk countries

Using VPN servers in high-risk countries

Privacy laws are different widely from country to country. The kind of VPN server you connect to is generally determined by what information you are trying to access and where that server is located. To access the information that a government has censored within its borders, you would need to connect to a VPN server outside your country. Other times you may need to access information that is only available inside your own country. For example, some websites only allow you to log in if you are using an IP address from the country hosting it. When you travel offshore places, you might need VPN to access that site. In the times of today, if you want to use internet at its utmost safety, best VPN supplement it.

Risk of using VPN in other high risk nations

If you are using the Internet to do low-risk activities (e.g., streaming TV or looking up football scores), then which server you connect to is not important. On the other hand, if you are a North Korean dissident handling sensitive communications, one would not recommend connecting to a server in North Korea, as the North Korean police could potentially be monitoring that server.

Use Secure Core VPN

Secure Core significantly reduces the risk of using a server in any unfriendly jurisdiction.  If you must connect to a server in a country with weak privacy protections, enable the Secure Core feature which is available in premium paid VPN services. With Secure Core, your Internet traffic is routed through special, hardened servers in countries with strong protection laws, like Iceland, Sweden, or Switzerland, before it goes through the server in the high-risk country.

Avoid using VPN service directly owning infrastructure

 Avoid subscribing to a company having a physical presence in any jurisdictions with weak privacy protections. Associate only with the services that will utilize third- party infrastructure in high- risk countries. VPN service that own hardware or have a substantial staff presence in a country with poor privacy protections might fall under that nation’s jurisdiction through the principal place of business doctrine.

Use services that communicate transparently

Subscribe to services that are transparent about who they are. This transparency is more critical than we think it is. If the service comes under pressure that they can no longer live up to our privacy standards in a high-risk country, they should promptly share this information with the customers and shut down the servers in that country. It is an unfortunate fact that there are numerous countries around the world where online privacy is under attack. Thus if you are aware of the threats and using secure core VPN, using Virtual Private Network in anywhere in the world is possible.

Subscribe to companies that implement full-disk encryption

Your VPN servers, including those in lower-risk countries, should be secured with block-level disk encryption  This protects against a specific but powerful attack in which an adversary compromises an exit server, steals the server certificate, and redirects user traffic to a server controlled by the attacker. By implementing full-disk encryption on all our servers, they can protect their certificates and mitigate the risk of MITM attacks.


Clare Louise