We reserve the right…
What is the big deal? WHY are there so many companies suddenly offering to secure your IP address at home against data farming? When you access the internet from home you can be traced. Did something happen that allowed your home internet address to be unprotected by Law, to be shared by your ISP (internet service provider) without your permission?
Isn’t Jesus your shield?
Well apparently Avast thinks so! I’m not sure yet, though, that this isn’t just a sales scam, as my own hosting company has told me they would never give out my meta-data without my permission, and nothing has changed about that And yet Avast, and a company called VirtualShield, just started offering SecureLineVPN© in response to what they claim is a change in the law governing your privacy against data farming on the internet without your permission. Before this alleged change you had to willingly approve the selling of your meta-data by your internet provider, but now you don’t? Hmm…
1.a set of data that describes and gives information about other data.
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In a discussion with a security representative of my own hosting company he explained that this claim of wanton meta-data farming was not true. So what’s going on? Why the sudden push from Avast, and others like them?
Well Avast (Digital River) has this in their privacy statement:
To Comply With Legal Requirements, Cooperate With Law Enforcement, Prevent Fraud and Other Crimes, and Protect Legal Rights, Property, You and Others. . To the extent permitted by applicable law, we may disclose the personal information we collect on this Property without notifying you when we, in good faith, believe disclosure is appropriate to comply with the law or a regulatory requirement; to comply with governmental, administrative or judicial process, requirement or order, such as a subpoena or court order; to cooperate with law enforcement or other governmental investigations (without necessarily requiring the law enforcement or government agency requesting the information to formally serve us with a subpoena); to prevent or investigate a possible crime, such as fraud or identity theft; to enforce a contract; to protect the legal rights, property or safety of Digital River, its corporate affiliates, and their respective employees, clients and partners and agents, other users or the public in general; or to protect your vital interests if determined necessary by us. In addition, we may review our server logs for security purposes, such as detecting intrusions into our network. If we suspect criminal activity, we may share our server logs – which contain visitors’ IP addresses – with the appropriate investigative authorities who may use that information to trace and identify individuals. We also reserve the right to report to appropriate law enforcement or government agencies any activities that we, in good faith, believe are or may be in violation of applicable laws, rules or regulations without providing notice to you.
Well, ain’t that nice? They can give your private data out, “without necessarily requiring the law enforcement or government agency requesting the information to formally serve us with a subpoena.”
And what about this? “We also reserve the right to report to appropriate law enforcement or government agencies any activities that we, in good faith, believe are or may be in violation of applicable laws, rules or regulations without providing notice to you.”* So if Avast thinks, just thinks, you are in violation of the law (like this amorphose interpretation of LGBT “rights” so many social media providers are claiming is protected against under civil law) like the free speech from Christians of homosexual behavior being sinful under God’s definition in the Bible, well then Avast hereby informs us they will inform the ‘appropriate’ authorities of your comments? Wow. So maybe you DO need that secured VPN tunnel after all? Or do you? …
See, it’s like this Christian, are you supposed to protect yourself against persecution? I mean, if what you are doing is what God intends you to do, aren’t you supposed to, “turn the other cheek”, a-la Luke 6:29 and Matthew 5.39? Remember, this is the only time in Scripture, when you are doing what God says to do, in rendering a Biblical response, that, when smacked down for it, you are not to respond with anything but gentleness?
…and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
So then, whether this change in the law is true or not, should we as Christians hide behind a cloak of secrecy or shouldn’t we rather stop trying to hide our light, our candle under a basket? Or can you really? Won’t that candle light the basket ablaze even more brightly if you try? Is there a limit to how much you expose yourself, though?
Mark 4:21 (KJV) And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
Well there you go… I was just about to put this on Linkedin, where I wrote this in the first place, and then realized that’s not hiding to post it to the ministry page on Facebook instead, it’s just common sense: It’s common sense not to advertise where you live, who you are… that’s basic common sense on the internet.
Proverbs 26:17 (KJV) He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears.
In other words, don’t be so naive as to borrow trouble? Well that verse doesn’t actually say that. But sending this article to a site you know you will lose work to post Christian content on, well isn’t that the same thing as taking a strange dog by the ears? After all, publisher trvrntly let me go “at will” for “politial reasons”. No reason to let others do so if we can help it.
I was a younger man when I lived with an elder couple, as they mentored me in The LORD. And this was a repeated warning from them both, so let me give you an example what this “borrowing trouble” might look like…
I was waiting to join the Coast Guard. I knew it was going to be at least 6 months before I could get accepted, due to the wait, so I applied for work at an auto parts store. And when they asked me where I expected to be in 5 years I answered what I thought was honestly. DUMB DUMB DUMB. I was being naive, because that question is designed to entrap you. I really had no idea if I was ever going to be accepted, but when I did answer I didn’t get the job and nearly starved while I waited. I had to, as a Christian mind you, work in a bar restocking their alchohol. The influence of that place was not good for a young believer.
See? This is how to weigh out a matter. Read the Bible enough to know what God says and check each other…
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.
So get the secure VPN tunnel if you want, if you can afford it, especially if it turns out Avast is right! I’ve emailed Avast directly to qualify their claims; We’ll see what they say.
Luke 11:36 (KJV) If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
As our own President has said to the UN, a nation’s priority is the protection of it’s people, and that must always be ALL it’s people, not just a select vocal few. If indeed this nation has passed laws to allow our privacy to be further encroached upon, allowed a small group to use the Law to protect their depravity, then me must respond, as God’s People should, as His spokespersons, without fear of reprisals.
After all, God is our refuge and strength, why should we be afraid?
Just don’t go around kicking powerful men in the teeth, and use sense with your private daata on the internet.
Patrick Burwell, OnlyJesusSaves.org Ministries
*bold is my emphasis