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MasterCard and Visa Start Banning VPN Providers

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the one-step-forward,-two-steps-back dept.

The Almighty Buck 353

Nyder sends this quote from TorrentFreak: "Swedish payment service provider Payson received an email stating that VPN services are no longer allowed to accept Visa and MasterCard payments due to a recent policy change. ... The new policy went into effect on Monday, leaving customers with a two-day window to find a solution. While the email remains vague about why this drastic decision was taken, in a telephone call Payson confirmed that it was complying with an urgent requirement from Visa and MasterCard to stop accepting payments for VPN services. 'It means that U.S. companies are forcing non-American companies not to allow people to protest their privacy and be anonymous, and thus the NSA can spy even more.'" Oddly, this comes alongside news that MasterCard has backed down on its financial blockade against WikiLeaks.

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353 comments

And thus it begins (5, Interesting)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 10 months ago | (#44183075)

So, it has come to this.

Re:And thus it begins (-1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 10 months ago | (#44183095)

Yes. We can't have a single discussion without someone mentioning the NSA.

I almost miss the days of "ipad" name dropping.

Re:And thus it begins (3, Funny)

radiumsoup (741987) | about 10 months ago | (#44183125)

welcome bitcoin overlords, etc.

Re:And thus it begins (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183421)

You mean bitcoin decentralized overloads?

Boycott VISA MASTERCARD. Start using BITCOIN. (4, Insightful)

keneng (1211114) | about 10 months ago | (#44183775)

Bitcoin, the first world digital currency exists. Bitcoin will be the best match for getting things bought and sold anywhere on the internet and in the real world while preserving our digital freedoms and digital privacy. Bitcoin is decentralized. No single government may control it. There are service fees like traditional banks, but the manner in which these fees are distributed is very different and fairly distributed. It has every reason to succeed over the traditional currency exchange scheme.

MASTERCARD and VISA want to help the current super powers take away our digital freedoms and digital privacy by refusing to do business with VPN providers.

Boycott Mastercard and Visa. Stop doing business with VISA and MASTERCARD.
Learn to use Bitcoin instead of VISA and MASTERCARD.

"Ideas and Discoveries" magazine brings up the idea "The Internet will become the new world SUPERPOWER" and "operates more effectively than America or China". Since no single government may control Bitcoin, Bitcoin is a good match with the new INTERNET SUPERPOWER because both do well at preserving digital freedoms and digital privacy especially because both are decentralized.

Re:Boycott VISA MASTERCARD. Start using BITCOIN. (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44183847)

Learn to use Bitcoin instead of VISA and MASTERCARD.

Sure. How do I buy bitcoins without using Visa or MasterCard (or Paypal)?
 

Re:Boycott VISA MASTERCARD. Start using BITCOIN. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183889)

That question is only relevant until I'm able to earn part of my salary directly in bitcoins.

Re:Boycott VISA MASTERCARD. Start using BITCOIN. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183943)

| Sure. How do I buy bitcoins without using Visa or MasterCard (or Paypal)?

Usually you use Local Bit Coins or any of the methods [localbitcoins.com] listed on this new user's guide [bitcoin.it] .

Re:Boycott VISA MASTERCARD. Start using BITCOIN. (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44184093)

Heh, that local bitcoins site is great. "Meet me outside my apartment building and hand me cash, and sure enough you'll get some bitcoins, I promise, pinky swear".

Anyone with any better advice?

Re:Boycott VISA MASTERCARD. Start using BITCOIN. (2)

venom85 (1399525) | about 10 months ago | (#44184133)

Sure. How do I buy bitcoins without using Visa or MasterCard (or Paypal)?

Use Discover.

Re:And thus it begins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183335)

It is a trap!

Re: And thus it begins (1)

DuncanE (35734) | about 10 months ago | (#44183363)

This has nothing to do with the NSA. This is all about the so called content owners protecting copyright. And with this they are starting to win!

Re: And thus it begins (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about 10 months ago | (#44183469)

Nah, technology adapts far easier and quicker against them than at their favor. Visa and Mastercard are hardy the only ways in existence to exchange money and as they become more and more restrictive other options are sure to fill the void.

and your alternative is what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183933)

2 cups and a string ?

with nsa spying fbi on hollywoods side you got it all angled ...its over ....
start to just NOT USE anymore and do any more keep a pc offline

Re: And thus it begins (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | about 10 months ago | (#44184117)

Nah, technology adapts far easier and quicker against them than at their favor. Visa and Mastercard are hardy the only ways in existence to exchange money and as they become more and more restrictive other options are sure to fill the void.

Right... it is ultimately to their detriment to adopt these policies.

They are creating a motivation and a market for other companies to replace them

Re: And thus it begins (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 10 months ago | (#44183719)

They have been winning for at least a hundred years. Remind yourself of how copyright started and look at where we are now.

They are persistent, they are skilled at what they do and they are most definitely winning.

Re:And thus it begins (-1, Offtopic)

Oil_Tan (854423) | about 10 months ago | (#44183839)

To say America, has a rape culture, or a patriarchy is just an insult to the people in countries that DO have a rape culture or a patriarchy. I wonder how the people being raped and mutilated daily would feel about cat calling, I think they’d prefer it to what they get now.

bigballs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183087)

With everything going on 'they' are not backing down one single bit. Not sure if they are smart/dumb or suicidal.

Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183089)

If you care about privacy, you're using bitcoin already. This'll just push more people that direction.

Re:Bitcoin (3, Insightful)

emj (15659) | about 10 months ago | (#44183213)

Bitcoin has no privacy, or complete transparency, depending on your viewpoint.

Re:Bitcoin (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44183863)

I'm sure the NSA logs every bitcoin transaction, but I somehow doubt the copyright cartel does, which I'm guessing is the point of these VPNs.

Re:Bitcoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44184077)

The NSA only has to download the block chain to have a record of every transaction, right? Just like everybody else.

Good For Them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183115)

Sounds like this is a move to thwart money launderers, drug dealers and terrorist networks (and no I don't mean the CIA).

If cut off and strangle the evildoers money lines, this is a good thing. I'd rather have the NSA spy on me any day.

Re:Good For Them (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 10 months ago | (#44183375)

As somebody who used to live and work in China, I find this to be rather unfortunate. VPNs are neither good nor bad by any inherent reasoning, but what this means is that people in regions that have oppressive regimes are going to find it harder to get access to the web unfiltered as it's going to be harder and harder to fund the services.

Ultimately, if the US government has had any input in this, it's going to bite them on the ass. Well, it will bite them on the ass, regardless of causation.

Re:Good For Them (5, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 10 months ago | (#44183745)

It just looks like the gloves came off with the whole Snowden affair. They now know they can get away with pretty much anything and the propaganda machine will keep up appearances well enough for the masses to accept it, and as a result the two-faced "protecting the freedom" with all its problems like VPNs can be finally finished.

Lucky me. (5, Funny)

Danyel (107479) | about 10 months ago | (#44183129)

I provide my VPN to myself for free. ;)

Re:Lucky me. (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44183613)

Too bad by running your own VPN on your own Internet connection, all privacy is gone. Everything can easily be tracked right back to you. Not saying that running your own VPN doesn't bring some serious advantages... but privacy is most definitely not one of them.

Re:Lucky me. (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 10 months ago | (#44183635)

They can see who he communicated with, they cant see WHAT he communicated. Thats the best you can possibly expect from public infrastructure.

Re:Lucky me. (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 10 months ago | (#44183669)

They can see who he communicated with, they cant see WHAT he communicated. Thats the best you can possibly expect from public infrastructure.

But they can see that he has something to hide, which is probably enough to get a search warrant these days.

Re:Lucky me. (2)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 10 months ago | (#44183833)

But they can see that he has something to hide, which is probably enough to get a search warrant these days.

Yep. http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/06/21/1443204/use-tor-get-targeted-by-the-nsa [slashdot.org]
But I don't think a search warrant is needed these days... they'll just take what they want as they please. The government don't give a shit, they wiped their ass with the Bill of Rights and flushed it down the toilet a long time ago.

You know a monopoly is present (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183169)

When it's impossible to boycot the bad guy...

Re:You know a monopoly is present (5, Interesting)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 10 months ago | (#44183243)

What I really dislike about this is how it is a group of companies acting as a pack to instill their own laws/moral judgement on the world at large. Why do they get to decide which companies I deal with or not?

Re:You know a monopoly is present (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 10 months ago | (#44183383)

Because it's their network and no regulatory body has told them no. Doesn't make it right, but that's how it is until somebody steps in and says no.

Re: You know a monopoly is present (3, Informative)

austinhook (656358) | about 10 months ago | (#44183797)

It's not really a private company decision. US financial control authorities merely disallow any money transaction company that flouts their political controls. It is not allowed to have a non US based credit card network.

Re:You know a monopoly is present (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 10 months ago | (#44183879)

This wouldn't have so great an impact if the companies involved operated and overwhelmingly served customers in a single country, even one as mighty as the US. But what about those who want VPN services to China or some Middle Eastern countries with a restricted direct line to the Net? Maybe this would give a boost to non-credit-based online payment services, even BitCoin. The downside is that you'd lose the ability to get your money back if a transaction falls through and so should be more careful who you're dealing with.

Re:You know a monopoly is present (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183467)

Why do they get to decide which companies I deal with or not?

Because money is influence, and they have more than you do.
duh.

Re:You know a monopoly is present (0)

rsborg (111459) | about 10 months ago | (#44183869)

What I really dislike about this is how it is a group of companies acting as a pack to instill their own laws/moral judgement on the world at large. Why do they get to decide which companies I deal with or not?

And the republican/libertarians are more worried about *government* intrusion? Unchecked corporate power and it's massive money is the *cause* of government malfeasance as corporations corrupt and subvert regulatory bodies, legislators and judges. Wherever you see an uncaring official who thumbs his/her nose at the electorate, you can bet your ass there's corrupt money coming from somewhere to hide/protect someone's shady business dealings.

Re:You know a monopoly is present (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183963)

Wherever you see an uncaring official who thumbs his/her nose at the electorate, you can bet your ass there's corrupt money coming from somewhere to hide/protect someone's shady business dealings.

Now if only they would use that to start investigations... I know, I know not going to happen.

Re:You know a monopoly is present (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44184005)

How do you become "a corporation"? Who makes the rules about "corporations"? ETC. Answer those questions before blaming "corporations".

Re:You know a monopoly is present (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183985)

What I really dislike about this is how it is a group of companies acting as a pack to instill their own laws/moral judgement on the world at large. Why do they get to decide which companies I deal with or not?

Because PCI Standards and Compliance are not a government mandate, but a coalition of private businesses. MC and Visa use the same networks and therefor would have similar policies in how they handle PCI compliance. Look at 3DSecure, AVS and CVV transaction responses...

Technically not a Monopoly if multiple independent companies agree on a standard. Your argument is flawed in that retailers/businesses dont accept Credit Cards, AMEX, or Discover for their transaction. You are choosing to do business with these creditors, they can chose who they want to do business on their end as well.

Source: I'm an eCommerce Risk Analyst

Oh whatever (5, Insightful)

Tibe (444675) | about 10 months ago | (#44183175)

> 'It means that U.S. companies are forcing non-American companies not to allow people to protest their privacy and be anonymous, and thus the NSA can spy even more.'

That's rather bias. It also means that people are no longer able to circumvent geo locks on media content, avoiding the current media distribution models and laws. Some people are protecting their privacy, but I would guess the vast majority just want to watch Game of Thrones.

Re:Oh whatever (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | about 10 months ago | (#44183241)

I would guess the vast majority just want to watch Game of Thrones.

This evil must be stopped at all costs to freedom and liberty!

Re:Oh whatever (1)

Tibe (444675) | about 10 months ago | (#44183327)

Ideally media companies would find another way to distribute content. One that suits the users who are prepared to pay for it and themselves.

I would bet that media companies protecting their current, quite flawed, distribution model is the motivation behind stopping payments. Not spying.

Re:Oh whatever (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183611)

Game of Thrones' Lord Vaerys: The content of a man's letter is more valuable than the content of his purse.

Re:Oh whatever (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183317)

That people pay VPN services to bypass geo locks means they have money to pay *something* to watch that content. Media companies should take note and offer more reasonable pricing for content globally. All they are accomplishing by getting Visa and Mastercard to collude with them is forcing people to use even less legal methods to get content.

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." - John Gilmore

Re:Oh whatever (1)

Tibe (444675) | about 10 months ago | (#44183409)

That people pay VPN services to bypass geo locks means they have money to pay *something* to watch that content. Media companies should take note and offer more reasonable pricing for content globally.

Yes.

All they are accomplishing by getting Visa and Mastercard to collude with them is forcing people to use even less legal methods to get content.

No. They are not forcing anyone to be less legal, that's probably your bias. They are removing one method, which may make some users not bother, some go a legal route, and some go another illegal route.

Re:Oh whatever (2)

fredprado (2569351) | about 10 months ago | (#44183515)

Nah, they are making more and more users hostile to their cause to the point of grudge. If they keep going, and I really hope they do, they will only lose more and more control as time goes.

Re:Oh whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183747)

All they are accomplishing by getting Visa and Mastercard to collude with them is forcing people to use even less legal methods to get content.

No. They are not forcing anyone to be less legal, that's probably your bias. They are removing one method, which may make some users not bother, some go a legal route, and some go another illegal route.

Yeah, when I'm traveling I don't even bother looking for illegal methods of watching my favourite TV shows without foreign language dubbing. Instead I wait patiently until I get home like a good little sheep.

Re:Oh whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183817)

No, you download it like a sheep. If you really want them to stop, you need to stop watching their stuff. Don't download, don't stream, don't pirate and don't buy, and let them know they you won't consume anything they produce until it's made available in a way you like.

Re:Oh whatever (1)

mrspoonsi (2955715) | about 10 months ago | (#44183345)

That has to be one of the most heinous crimes, someone in another country watching a free** broadcast. The streets are once again safe. I cannot imagine there were huge numbers (in relation to % of population of a country) who use VPN, I also guess that someone like the NSA love VPN (centralized services), like a spiders web waiting for all the flies, doing something interesting? you might as well paint a bulls eye on your arse. Even if the NSA do not have a realtime SSL decoder, they still know with net taps where you are talking to, and traffic analysis could indicate the exact items you are looking at (if the end site is trawled by the NSA). ** the broadcast might be paid for by advertisers, the advert may or may not be relevant to the country in which it is viewed.

Re:Oh whatever (1)

Tibe (444675) | about 10 months ago | (#44183477)

That has to be one of the most heinous crimes, someone in another country watching a free** broadcast. ... ** the broadcast might be paid for by advertisers, the advert may or may not be relevant to the country in which it is viewed.

The broadcast is paid for by advertisers. And if making decent content becomes more risky or lower profit giving rise to more reality tv... for a developed nations largely law abiding citizens day to day life, it is a pretty horrible outcome. Media companies need to find a better distribution model.

Re:Oh whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183725)

> That's rather bias. It also means that people are no longer able to circumvent geo locks on media content

I'm not even going to comment on your argument beyond saying that two wrongs do not make a right.

Actually, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183239)

... aren't they warning us to stay away? Isn't it possible that they have been, or expect to be, ordered to turn over all transactions related to VPNs? In light of MC's new willingness to accept Wikileaks contribs, maybe that makes more sense?

Jews. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183277)

Do I need to say any more? Who is behind the NSA? Who is constantly watching everything every non-Jew says, for signs of 'anti-semitism'? (LOL)
The eternal Jew. Kicked out of 109 countries over the last 1,000 years. I wonder why.
Who runs your Congress?
Who runs the Federal Reserve, and all the other banks, which print money out of thin air, and then expect you to pay it back with real work and real goods?
Who owns 90% of the newspapers, and 90% of the T.V. stations, and all of Hollywood?

US considered hostile (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183295)

Don't use US services.

This is why... (5, Insightful)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 10 months ago | (#44183323)

This is why we need a payment system that does NOT rely on PayPal, Visa, or MasterCard.

And I guess this is why the US Govt. is trying to shut down bitcoin so hard....

Re:This is why... (2)

vikingpower (768921) | about 10 months ago | (#44183373)

Amen. I wish I had some mod points for you, which at the moment I don't. This is all about bullying. And more and more of us are getting sick and tired of it. Not only of the bullying itself, but also and rather of the many means there are to practice bullying.

Re:This is why... (-1)

hedwards (940851) | about 10 months ago | (#44183395)

BTC isn't the answer, it has too many serious flaws, but we do need something that isn't beholden to the interests of a state, that can be traded for money that we can use. It's just a shame that BTC was so incompetently designed.

Re:This is why... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183453)

Examples please?

Re:This is why... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183547)

Bitcoin is gay. I prefer a heterosexual currency.

Re:This is why... (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about 10 months ago | (#44183527)

BTC is far from perfect but it does not have these "so many serious flaws" you seem to believe it has and was quite competently designed.

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183617)

Yea- it actually works which- while not perfect- seems to be more than any other distributed crypto-currency can claim.

Re:This is why... (0)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 10 months ago | (#44183651)

With enough CPU power and malice, i could destroy Bitcoin in its current incarnation.

Re:This is why... (2)

tompaulco (629533) | about 10 months ago | (#44183855)

With enough CPU power and malice, i could destroy Bitcoin in its current incarnation.

Which is why you are not given enough CPU power. It is distributed to prevent people from accumulating enough to destroy it. If you bought all of the world's top supercomputers, you would not have enough CPU power to "take over" bitcoin.
Also, you couldn't destroy bitcoin even if you did have over 50% of the horsepower, you could only invalidate your recent transactions, and prevent other transactions from being recorded. it would have to be out of sheer malice, because there is no way you could make it financially positive for you.

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183641)

[citation needed]

Re:This is why... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 10 months ago | (#44184051)

A lot of these companies take plain old American currency, passed through the mail. "Please credit account Joesmomma$-$@@@32&rfc1394 in the amount of $200, which you will find enclosed. Sincerely, onetimus anonimus, 42 bogus lane, Smallville PA #####."

Re:This is why... (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 10 months ago | (#44183827)

Discover and American Express are two cards I own that have nothing to do with Visa and MasterCard.

Re:This is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183853)

This is why we need a payment system that does NOT rely on PayPal, Visa, or MasterCard.

And I guess this is why the US Govt. is trying to shut down bitcoin so hard....

“Payson has restrictions against anonymization (including VPN services). As a result Payson can unfortunately no longer give your customers the option to finance payments via their cards (VISA or MasterCard),”

They sound like a paypal competitor, why aren't they mentioned? Can't you load up their respective wallets a dozen other ways besides cards?

This all sounds like bull shit to me.

Re:This is why... (0)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#44183917)

And I guess this is why the US Govt. is trying to shut down bitcoin so hard....

The US government isn't trying at all to shutdown Bitcoin . It's fairly easy to just dronestrike every computer that participates in Bitcoin processing (aka mining) after all, or less drastically just outlaw it in the US.

So far all the US has said is "yes, of course you owe taxes on it, just like any other collectable or barter transaction".

Hmm, maybe they should... (4, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about 10 months ago | (#44183413)

Hmm, maybe they should rename their services. "Remote internet ISP services" or "SSL internet connection", or some other obfuscated name. They can't ban everything associated with the internet.

Use Amex? :) (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 10 months ago | (#44183437)

Surely there are other forms of payment that are acceptable to this Swedish VPN provider? Vote with your feet.

Who knows if they're under pressure from the NSA or other bad actors...perhaps it's just related to CC fraud? In either case...see above.

Not surprising (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183447)

Given that Sweden is the home to many VPN services used to weakly anonymise hacking attempts, this doesn't come as suprising to me.

Lets play politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183459)

Change the name of the services from VPN to something else, CPN (Cyber Private Networks) for example.

Keep accepting payments.

Wait for another email from "big brother" you cannot accept payments from CPN services.

Rename the service again.

Same way they don't commit tax dodging/evasion or bribe certain political influences, they merely do a "contribution".

secure transactions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183507)

"You know spies, bunch of bitchy little girls - Sam Axe"

Lo-Tek Solution (1)

TechForensics (944258) | about 10 months ago | (#44183525)

What's the big deal? Pay by check! What's a week or two to save your rights?

Re:Lo-Tek Solution (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 10 months ago | (#44183771)

I wonder. There isn't any way to prevent them from cashing my check, is there?

I pay somebody by check, they deposit it to their bank, it goes through the international clearinghouse, gets paid by my bank, and get charged to my account.

The clearinghouse can't just decide not to pay checks drawn to iPredator, is there? It's a legally binding obligation.

Or if there was, it would be easy to get around it, right? iPredator could open a new account under the name "iPredator's Girlfriend" or something.

Re:Lo-Tek Solution? Perhaps ... (3, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | about 10 months ago | (#44183947)

Your cheque is an order to the bank to pay $X to Y. If your government outlaws Y, the bank cannot honour your order.

At the moment, banks have a smallish list of countries and companies that have been outlawed, and so the bank cannot pay tme anything. These are organizations/countries claimed to be in of support of terrorism. If the government in question can argue VPNs enable terrorism, they can add VPN companies to the list.

--dave

Two thoughts. (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 10 months ago | (#44183621)

1) Why does this not count as illegal collusion within an industry group? That they decided to announce it as a unified decision provides de facto proof that they conspired to deprive their customers of choice. If my itty bitty company made a similar joint announcement with one of our biggest competitors in the region, half a dozen state AGs would have us in court before the newsprint dried on the initial announcement.

2) I make use of these usurious parasites' services because it lets me conveniently move my money from place to place without worrying about the security of either cash or my real bank accounts, and I can essentially do all my spending with one tidy itemized monthly bill. If I can no longer use Visa to purchase the goods and services I want, I no longer have a reason to use Visa at all.

And a bonus thought, for good measure - For those talking about the NSA or Bitcoin - This involves regional protection of content, a favor to Hollywood, nothing more and nothing less. At least direct your vitriol in the right direction, folks.

Re:Two thoughts. (1)

dk20 (914954) | about 10 months ago | (#44183783)

Congratulations now Canadians cant watch US netflix and the world is that much safer. Good thing the real financial problems were left alone (google "some large bank" + money laundering).
HSBC paid $1.9 billion to settle charges...
Standard Chartered paid $327 Million...
etc...
Perhaps this will motivate netflix to adjust the price based on the content?
Netflix USA = 7.99 US/month
Netflix CA = 7.99 CAD/month for a lot less (a ton of content is regionally locked).

Re:Two thoughts. (4, Interesting)

LordLucless (582312) | about 10 months ago | (#44183805)

And a bonus thought, for good measure - For those talking about the NSA or Bitcoin - This involves regional protection of content, a favor to Hollywood, nothing more and nothing less. At least direct your vitriol in the right direction, folks.

This is a favor to Hollywood; last time it was a favour to Government so they could try to starve out Wikileaks. It's a question of control. With the current system, Visa can vritually control who you can and cannot buy goods and services from, putting them in the position of being able to exert de facto control over the economy.

A decentralized payment method (like cash, or bitcoin) puts the control in the owners of the money. Cash has too many historical roots to destroy, but its inherently limited in its ability to make large payments across wide geographical separation. Which is why bitcoin (and any other new, decentralized, electronic currency) is a threat to the existing system.

Abuse of power (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183623)

This is what happens when industries lack effective competition. The only thing they understand is being sued to hell for discriminatory practice but act quickly before CISPA is snuck into an omnibus at the 11th hour.

They have no problem throwing their weight around because they can get away with it. Merchants don't have a choice - you have to accept bullshit from the major cards no matter what or else you lose business.

The very concept of credit cards is bullshit anyway. What people really need is an easy way to transmit funds rather than keeping account numbers secret and hoping against hope everyone will play nice and it won't be abused. The sooner VISA and Mastercard die off the better off we'll all be. We need something like paypal but with the convinence of a credit card and an infrastructure to allow new players global access to all buyers and sellers from day one.

Censorship is live and well everywhere (2)

dk20 (914954) | about 10 months ago | (#44183661)

The only thing that changes is how its implemented. Communist countries control the press, we control it via finances.

There's other cards (1)

c-A-d (77980) | about 10 months ago | (#44183663)

Amex and Discover are still available. Not sure how viable that is though.

Call the WTO, the IMF, the marines! (4, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 10 months ago | (#44183841)

This is a restriction of trade. If we can force people to buy tainted beef and GMO foods, surely we can beat this.

Amex and Discover (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183843)

for a second i thought this article was about HB1 Visa for immigration.

yeah, i was going to ask if VPNs accept American Express and Discover

haven't heard much about American Express lately. I saw the new commercial about the new Discover card.

Time for the VPN Providers to play the name game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183885)

Major CC batch jobs can't keep up.

Very suspicious (5, Interesting)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | about 10 months ago | (#44183899)

Does anyone else find this story very suspicious? I mean, VPN services are completely mainstream, widely used by business people. I bet that even MasterCard and Visa use them. And suddenly we're told there's a conspiracy to ban them. And the poster attributes this to the NSA wanting to spy on us. All based on completely anecdotal reports from one company that you've probably never heard of before.

I suspect the summary will turn out to be a complete misrepresentation, and the truth will be something far less evil and far less interesting than this post makes it out to be.

There could be a valid reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183905)

Before we start in on the FUD, perhaps there is a valid reason for this? I'm no expert, but here are my thoughts:

For example, I'm not aware of any way to tell the difference in a VPN (a desirable form of MITM) and an unwanted MITM. What if they're doing this as a side effect of detecting and thwarting silent packet-sniffing MITM attacks?

And do we know if they're blocking known VPN provider address ranges, or whether they're doing something protocol-specific that somehow fails if there's an IP tunnel involved? If it's the latter, maybe it's still possible to use the services if you run the client on the VPN machine and use X-forwarding or RDP or something.

I didn't know VPNs were a problem (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 10 months ago | (#44183907)

Seriously, how big of a problem is this, that they need to be shutting down payment methods in an attempt to make you stop using them? I wasn't even aware that anybody did anything illegal with them. I didn't know until reading some of the comments that some people use them for getting around region encoding. Nevermind that region encoding ought to be illegal as it is. But still, if you sell a million hammers, and one guy uses a hammer to break a window, will Visa and MC stop processing payments for hammers?

JFK said it best (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44183921)

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable."

alternatives? (3, Insightful)

Aryeh Goretsky (129230) | about 10 months ago | (#44183939)

Hello,

Does the ban extend to VPS providers like Linode and Lowendbox (et al), or cloud services like Amazon AWS or Google Cloud which could host a VPN? If not, perhaps provisioning a VPN server is one of these is an alternative.

Credit card companies and payment processors might be less willing to suspend operations with Amazon or Google.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

Request, and suggestion... (5, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 10 months ago | (#44183959)

I personally do not use a VPN service anymore, but have a request for anyone that does. I also request you post results here, in this thread, to share any response you may receive.

Please call your current VPN provider and ask them how to go about paying them for their services without using PayPal, Visa, Mastercard or AmEx. Just see what advice they give to you in order for you to continue using their services (if any).

I am curious as to how the providers themselves are responding to their customers. They may have already come up with a viable alternative payment method that has been kept out of the media.

Go to EU courts and have Visa/Mastercard banned! (2)

Tasha26 (1613349) | about 10 months ago | (#44184071)

I thought foreign companies such as Paypal, Visa and Mastercard had to obey certain laws before being given access to EU customers/clients and that this right could be revoked at any time if they failed to comply? Then how come these miscreants are regularly discriminating against certain EU customers?
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