Playing six degrees of separation isn’t required to see the writing on the wall with Kape Technologies’ $95.4 million acquisition of long-time private security business and VPN provider, Private Internet Access, better known as PIA.
The Isle of Man-based VPN service, which is headed up by Israeli CEO Ido Erlichman, rolled out the announcement quietly during the middle of November in a press release that was published on November 19th, 2019.
Kape Technologies eating up PIA means that it’s yet another company added to their ever-growing stable of acquisitions.
The significance of this news is not that PIA was acquired, but that PIA has connections with Voat. Back on May 22nd, 2019 there was a post explaining how PIA has financially donated to Voat. The post was a giveaway sponsored by PIA, which read…
“Private Internet Access has generously donated to Voat users, 20 x month-long free trials of their no-log VPN service. Voat is going to give these out to Goats in the first official Voat & PIA VPN Giveaway. This is the perfect tool to Unblock the Web and say
Well, censorship may not be getting boned in quite the way some Voaters may have thought.
In the article it points out that before Kape stuck its toes in the VPN waters it was known for making advertising apps, some of which were flagged by MalwareBytes as privacy-debilitating malware.
VPN Ranks explains…
“This calls into question the legitimacy of Kape Technologies and raises doubts about their commitment to privacy of users. These facts probably won’t go too well with VPN customers as they become increasingly protective about their information going into the hand of these companies. Who knows what a company that had hidden malware in their software in the past is capable of today.”
Some people might toss the concerns away as “fear mongering” and “slippery slope fallacy”, but it’s best to be made aware that a company that didn’t mind sacrificing privacy for ad revenue has purchased up a VPN that has ties to one of the last free speech social media platforms on the internet.
In fact, even PIA felt like Kape’s past and users’ concern over their privacy rights following the acquisition was worth addressing in a blog post titled “The Continually Evolving Fight For Freedom” that was published on November 20th, 2019, where Christel Dahlskaer wrote…
“[…] The decision to join forces with Kape Technologies was not one that was taken lightly, and it was a decision that came on the back of extensive dialogue and due diligence by both the parties in the transaction, and I’d like to touch on some of that.
“Private Internet Access always has, and always will, put privacy first. Privacy is a fundamental human right as enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and one that our entire business has been built around. Our commitment to the privacy of our users, and the global population at large, is one thing we would never compromise on. Privacy is bigger than you and I, privacy is bigger than PIA and Kape. Privacy is an absolute necessity to protect and safeguard life for a substantial proportion of the world population. […]”
If Voat users regularly use PIA as their VPN of choice, and Kape Technologies now has access to PIA data… well, as I said at the top of the article, you don’t have to play six degrees of separation to see what that could mean not only for Voat users, but for PIA subscribers as well.
(Thanks for the news tip QuickshooterMk2 and substratose)
(Main image courtesy of Solace Stills)