Interview with blackVPN
0) Please tell us, what is your role (in the VPN company, where do you stand, owner, marketer, advertiser etc)?
I’m one of the 3 founders of blackVPN and my role is the big picture things like business operations or new projects like our VPN routers and custom Control Panel. Plus I also help out the other guys with things they’re working on. All 3 founders are still working on blackVPN and we still own 100% of our company…. AKA we didn’t get $50 million from NSA/GoldmanSachs like another big VPN provider
1) Does blackVPN keep any logs, IP Addresses, Timestamps, Bandwidth caps, Traffic or other data?
Our VPN servers NEVER log anyones real IP address. However they do log the time of connection and disconnection and how much data was transmitted.
It’s a balance between protecting peoples privacy while preventing our TV servers from being shut down due to DMCAs.
On our Privacy locations our customers share a single external IP address (per server) so that if a lot of users are connected to that server they will all share one IP address. If we get a complaint about spamming/hacking (with an IP address and timestamp) we won’t know which user was responsible so we need to blacklist that site for all our customers to prevent the abuse.
On our US, UK & SG servers we DO NOT ALLOW P2P simply because we get DMCA notices from our hosting companies there. On those servers we have more IP addresses shared between users (not just one IP address like on our Privacy locations) so when we receive a DMCA (containing an IP address and timestamp) then we forward it to all the users who were using that IP address at the time.
This allows us to keep our US, UK & SG servers running without us needing to do any real-time logging of internet traffic.
All the server performance data (bandwidth, CPU, etc) is anonymous and also the proxy server (which we use for out TOTAL=TV+Privacy service) also has logging turned OFF so that no logs are even generated.
2) What type of Encryption do you use?
For OpenVPN: AES-256 and 2048 bit RSA keys.
For IPSec we also support AES-256 (and lower including 3DES) however during the IPSec handshaking the VPN client chooses which encryption to use – and not all built-in VPN clients support AES-256. So for example if you connect using IPSec using your iPhone you would use AES-256, but with a Windows XP system you would be using 3DES.
OpenVPN is the best choice when available on your device as you always know you’ll be using strong encryption.
3) Where are your servers located and what jurisdiction do you operate under?
Our VPN servers are located in the USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Panama and Singapore. We will add and remove locations from this list as things change in the world. For example if there are new laws or laws that are enforced differently then we may need to remove a location to protect our supporters before anything happens..
We’re under the legal jurisdiction on Hong Kong since 2012 because we worried what laws the US or EU might introduce. Since the Snowden revelations and the Lavabit shutdown this turned out to be a smart move.
4) How do you generally handle requests from law enforcement and copyright agencies?
On our Privacy servers we rarely have issues with copyright due to the locations we’ve chosen. On our TV servers we simply forward the DMCA complaint to all the users connected to that server at that time.
If law enforcement had any issues they would need to get a Court Order from the courts in Hong Kong. This is very unlikely and has never happened so far.
5) Do you have access to all your servers, and does the datacenter you
We use dedicated servers that nobody except the 3 founders can login to – and even then only via a secure network. Since we have servers all around the world we do not physically visit them all.
The datacenters would most certainly be keeping some sort of logs – mostly for bandwidth monitoring. However since all of our users data is either encrypted or sharing the same IP address then there is very little they can log on our users.
6) Does your service support bittorrent?
Yes we allow bittorrent/P2P on our Privacy locations plus on our new service TOTAL=TV+Privacy