THE ARCEP SNITCH: BIG BROTHER JUST WANTS A PEEK


The French people of the past have learned the hard way that, if you want your liberty, you will need to crack a few eggs. And by eggs, we mean the decapitated heads of those in power. But the French internet authority has found a better, softer, way to keep track of its citizens. The ARCEP Snitch is an almost unnoticeable tool in a law that is easy to miss, that will keep a watchful eye on what the French internet users are doing online.
The idea that some governmental regulatory body wants to observe what people are doing online is not new. Most governments across the world have something similar either in place or in their plans. But, this shouldn’t mean that it is okay for any administration to do this.
For any person even remotely interested in their cybersecurity, and even their personal security, protecting their privacy should be paramount. Thankfully, using a good VPN will almost completely remove the effects of the ARCEP snitch.
Dangers of Being Seen
On average, the internet is not as scary of a place that most paint it to be. Most people online are quite reasonable and have no bad intentions neither towards you or your data. But, what internet suffers from is the rule of large numbers.
The small percentage of hackers, criminals, and thieves on the internet combined make an insanely large number. And you need to protect yourself from these people. There are different ways to protect yourself, but the basics are a good VPN, an updated operating system, and a reliable anti-virus program.
Using a premium VPN, would remove your presence from the internet. While your data will still be on your computer, and you will still communicate with people, your IP address will be masked. This way, you can browse freely without becoming a target of some hacker or data collector.
Finally, it would be best to have something like a VPN router. This device can protect all of your devices, including the ones used as IoT, and avoid the snitch installed in the ISP router.
Step against Our Liberties
The fact that you are paranoid doesn’t mean that there is no one out to get you. Although this mantra does make cybersecurity experts sound like conspiracy theorists, it is a good one to have. Being vigilant about our freedoms, that our forefathers and foremothers fought so hard to obtain, should be the duty of every person that considers themselves free.
The government is not our parents or our partners, and they should not have an insight into our privacy. Even these small rules that are implemented without directly hurting anyone or damaging our rights as customers can, at some point, become huge breaches in our civil liberties.
Even the French, who have brought the world the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen) can fall into the trap of becoming more authoritarian as time passes without vigilance.
Hackers and Data Peddlers
There is more to cybersecurity than the principle views that your privacy should be, well, private. There are also practical reasons why you wouldn’t want your data to be spread through some government institutions. This is especially true for those who also have your name and home address.
It is more than plausible that if you are subject to the ARCEP snitch, or some similar device, that the body collecting that data will become a weak-point in your cybersecurity. Even if you have an anti-virus and a firewall that works perfectly, a malicious entity can always hack the regulator directly and take your data from them.
Also, there is a possibility that that malicious person would be working for the regulator. As we mentioned, information is golden today. And, there are those tempted to capitalize on all of the data going through their hands.
Corporate Malpractice
In addition to any malpractice done by the regulator himself, there is also corporate malpractice possible from the ISP.
Even without a snitch, there is a capability from your ISP to see some of the data you are browsing. This will usually be just the IP addresses you are connecting to and how much you are staying on those websites, but even that is dangerous.
By having the snitch, the ISP will be able to have a lot more control over your device and the data you are using. If there is any opening for malpractice here, your internet privacy might be devastated.
Government Corruption
In these days, saying a corrupt politician sounds like a pleonasm. It has become so common that even those not interested in politics can predict that there is a corrupt member of the current government. Regardless of the country, region, or political system, this has become a fact.
And, if there is a push from somewhere inside the regulatory body, or even higher, to use your data to model political campaigns or silence the opposition, having something like the ARCEP snitch is a perfect tool for this endeavor.
Bypassing the ISP Box
Thankfully, bypassing something like the snitch is relatively easy. The same Netflix VPN you use to access that sweet, sweet Japanese anime can be used to protect you from both your government and any hackers that might follow them.
If your VPN is connected to your ISP router directly, you will also need several tools. These tools must prevent access to any of your IoT devices or those with a LAN connection.
Using a VPN
In the last decade, a VPN service became the best tool for your cybersecurity. As it has become impossible to keep track of all the hackers, scammers, and data thieves online, it is now best to make yourself scarce. Masking your IP address, as well as having a P2P encrypted connection, has proven to be impossible for even the most tenacious of hackers to break.
With providers, you can use a simple app on your PC, iOS, or Android device to connect to a secure server. Once you are there, your complete data history will seem like you have only connected to that one IP address. Also, all other data will be scrambled.
Firewalls and Anti-Virus
Unless you are using a VPN router, something like the ARCEP snitch can sometimes access the device it is connected to directly and take data from there.
In such cases, you will need firewalls and anti-meddling software that will block the snitch from accessing your device. Any premium software will work, as they are usually prepared for exactly this kind of meddling. But, opting to wing it and use free software sometimes won’t be enough.
Finally, a snitch can also access something like your smart TV. If there is a possibility to install anti-virus on your TV and similar devices, you should go with it. But, if you are using a device like the Amazon Firestick, you will need to protect it with a VPN for Firestick.
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