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  1. #1
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    Betternet's provenance?

    After mentions by several people, including Tracy Capan, I've been using Betternet, the free vpn, and on the whole, it's behaved pretty well.
    However, I was curious to find out who actually owned and controlled it, and after some digging, I'm starting to feel rather, well, paranoid. When you start looking at their website for Beeternet, there's none of the details that you normally expect to find about the people behind any web site. Contact us just has a simple form with no details of where it goes, there are no "About us" or proper "Contact us " with addresses, no careers page, no history of the program telling how incredibly motivated men and women have battled to bring this special vpn to the world etc.
    The only fact I can find is that Betternet Technologies Inc are responsible for Betternet, but details of this company are impossible to find using search engines, although anyone with more financial knowledge may well find out more - please feel free to put me right if you are that person.
    The real reason I'd like to know more about the people and companies behind Betternet is so that I can assess the programs credentials - is it truly independent of any outside influences, or is it, as one poster in the only forum entry I could find, run by the NSA so that unfortunate dupes like me unknowingly send my dark secrets straight to their server farms?
    Can anyone tell me what I'd like to know, or is it truly a hidden company?

  2. #2
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    According to its WHOIS entry it's a company called MarkMonitor and owned by Amazon, if I'm reading it right.
    Registry Domain ID: 197784869_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
    Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.markmonitor.com
    Registrar URL: http://www.markmonitor.com
    Updated Date: 2014-10-28T12:38:28-0700
    Creation Date: 2005-08-17T19:10:45-0700
    Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2018-01-15T20:59:59-0800
    Registrar: MarkMonitor, Inc.

    Registrant Name: Legal Department
    Registrant Organization: Amazon.com, Inc.
    Registrant Street: PO BOX 81226
    Registrant City: Seattle
    Registrant State/Province: WA
    Registrant Postal Code: 98108-1226
    Registrant Country: US
    Registrant Phone: +1.2062664064
    Registrant Phone Ext:
    Registrant Fax: +1.2062667010
    Registrant Fax Ext:
    Registrant Email: hostmaster@amazon.com


    Wikipedia has this to say. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MarkMonitor

    cheers, Paul

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    jon hawk (2016-02-18)

  4. #3
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    Okay, thanks for revealing that info, but it doesn't really answer my original thrust - MarkMonitor is a "brand protection agency" , so are unlikely to be the actual developers of Betternet, and seem to act in a way analogous to the sort of overseas bank that large companies use to hide their financial details.
    No, what I suppose I wanted to know were the sort of details all careful people want to know when assessing security programs etc before they install them - who is heading and developing the software, whether they are open and prepared to talk fully and openly with the press, details about who owns and controls the company, and are generally happy to reassure any user that they are "on their side". This information is singularly missing at every level with Betternet, and I am seriously considering my use of it, which would be a shame, but with no help from the originators of this software, what should I do?
    Last edited by jon hawk; 2016-02-15 at 05:31. Reason: Putting down my thoughts more accurately.

  5. #4
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    So nobody knows anything about the company or its people?

  6. #5
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    If I remember correctly, hiding the true owner of a domain used to be illegal and it should be.

    Now it is commonplace with companies that do exactly that.

    Looking at it from the technical side, I have no idea how it could actually be prevented - probably couldn't be.

    Robot callers are spoofing phone numbers to avoid detection. They use an innocent phone number unbeknownst to the actual home owner. It is one of the reasons that the "do not call list" is so ineffective.

    There is just no interest, or anyone willing to pay for, enforcement.

    The least that could be done is to put the so-called "brand protection agencies" out of business.

  7. #6
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    If I remember correctly, hiding the true owner of a domain used to be illegal and it should be.

    Now it is commonplace with companies that do exactly that.

    Looking at it from the technical side, I have no idea how it could actually be prevented - probably couldn't be.

    Robot callers are spoofing phone numbers to avoid detection. They use an innocent phone number unbeknownst to the actual home owner. It is one of the reasons that the "do not call list" is so ineffective.

    There is just no interest, or anyone willing to pay for, enforcement.

    The least that could be done is to put the so-called "brand protection agencies" out of business.

    By the way, look into TightVNC. Free, easy, fast, cross-platform, secure, and no problems.

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    jon hawk (2016-02-18)

  9. #7
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    Thanks for the tip about TightVNC, and I will indeed look into it, assuming I can use it on my iPad as well as my main computer.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleStu View Post

    By the way, look into TightVNC. Free, easy, fast, cross-platform, secure, and no problems.

    IIRC VNC and TightVNC are not VNPs, they are remote control programs. Something the OP might not want on his computer

    Oh Yup
    What is TightVNC?

    TightVNC is a free remote control software package. With TightVNC, you can see the desktop of a remote machine and control it with your local mouse and keyboard, just like you would do it sitting in the front of that computer. TightVNC is:
    http://tightvnc.com/

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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