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Verizon’s 6 Strike Anti-Piracy Policy and What it Means for You

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Six Strikes Program, officially known as Copyright Alert System (CAS), is one of the largest anti-piracy programs to be launched in United States. The system is a collaborative effort between copyright holders and Internet Service Providers and it is primarily designed to dissuade users from peer to peer sharing and torrenting. The system envisions identifying and warning users who indulge in file sharing before initiating a bigger action against repeat offenders. While the program may have good intentions, the end result for consumers is that their privacy is essentially eliminated.

Verizon’s Six Strikes Anti-Piracy Program
While Six Strikes is a single program, each major Internet Service Provider has rolled out its own version of the system. Verizon has rolled out an extreme form of the Copyright Alert System that involves speed throttling and even suspension of internet service for up to 24 hours. People found sharing copyrighted content would be sent alerts and shown instructional videos highlighting the importance of copyrights and instructions on how to download content legally. If customers continue to share copyrighted material, Verizon will reduce their internet speed to near dial-up speeds. After fifth and sixth warning, users will lose their connection for a period of 24 hours if they don’t appeal against Verizon’s copyright alerts. The users will also have to fork out $35 for appealing to every copyright alert which Verizon sends decides to send their way.

Methods To Get Around Verizon’s Six Strikes Detection
Since Verizon has made it clear that they are not going to tolerate file sharing in any form, you must explore options available to get around detection for the Six Strikes program. Here are some ways in which you can protect your privacy:

Virtual Private Networks
A VPN refers to a secure network that provides security and anonymity over public networks such as World Wide Web. Using a VPN is one of the easiest and most secure ways to protect yourself from the Six Strikes program. When you use a VPN, your VPN provider will encrypt your traffic and cover your internet connection through a secure tunnel. Most VPN providers use advanced security and encryption algorithms to protect your privacy which means even Verizon won’t be able to monitor your online activities and see which sites you are visiting. This protects you from speed throttling or losing your internet connection altogether. There are several reliable VPN providers like HideMyAss, StrongVPN, IPVanish, HideIPVPN and proXPN that guarantee excellent speed and privacy to their users.

Proxy Servers
A Proxy server is an intermediate server that acts like a bridge between the content provider and the user. With a proxy server, you can get shield your online activities from your ISP and get around Six Strikes program. However a lot of proxy servers, especially free to use public proxy servers, are notorious for leaking personal details so you can’t be too sure of your privacy while using them.

While a proxy server may work some of the time, when compared side by side, a virtual private network wins hands down as far as beating Verizon’s Six Strike anti-piracy program is concerned. Since the stakes have gone up considerably, it makes sense to take extra precautions while downloading something or indulging in peer to peer sharing activities. If you want to protect your overall online privacy and security and prevent ISPs from monitoring your viewing behavior it is also a good idea to use some level of online protection.

April 9, 2013

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