Did HideMyAss Break its Own Guarantee by Providing User Information to Authorities?
One of the most popular VPN providers and in fact a long standing market leader, HideMyAss VPN has been drawn into a vicious war to defend its integrity as a provider of security, privacy and anonymity online after a hackavist group called Lulzsec claimed that one of its members was arrested after HideMyAss gave the authorities information on his real location.
What led to all this was a leaked chat between several hackers? The chat allegedly revealed that the hackers were using HideMyAss VPN to cover their identity as they undertook their criminal activities online. When it was known that they were taking advantage of an otherwise legal service, VPN, the authorities served HideMyAss (HMA full review) with a court order requiring the company to give up the location and activity log of the hackers under investigation.
HideMyAss complied with the court order. They put the hackers under watch and gave the police the identity and IP information of a member of the group. This has led to a huge uproar online with some people claiming that HideMyAss has sold out to the authorities.
So hy Did HMA Do This?
The reason as to why HideMyAss handed over the hacker’s details is rooted in the fact that the hacker was using a legal product to carry out crime. Consequently, the hacker had violated the terms of his contract with HideMyAss VPN, voiding his protection forthwith. HideMyAss could no longer keep him anonymous since he was not a client.
The second reason why HideMyAss VPN handed over that information is because they had to comply with a court order. There is no way that the company was going to suffer for hiding a criminal. They simply had to comply with the court order.
In a statement on the HideMyAss Blog, the company clearly outlines how the whole saga came about and why they acted the way they did.
What we have learnt from this saga is that VPN should only be used within the law. Signing a VPN contract does not give you a ticket to break the law. VPN is a service that is meant to help people who need anonymity to overcome barriers online and keep their online activities safe and private – BUT never is it intended to help law breakers in their illegal activities.