VPN Usage On The Rise Where Internet Surveillance Increases

Young Swedes Going Covert On Internet With VPNs

As lawmakers across the globe attempt to pin down a wriggling Internet with rules aimed at stemming file sharing between users (but, curiously, increasing file sharing between governments and corporations), among other things, there appears to be a growing movement towards purchased privacy by the Internet community – particularly the younger folks.

TorrentFreak shared a study this week done by a research group from Lund University in Sweden showing a significant increase in the number of 15 to 25 year-olds buying and using VPN (virtual private network) services – some 40% more since late 2009.

As TorrentFreak points out, Sweden’s Internet community faces a unique strain of web surveillance with its spacious bandwidth and status as homebase to The Pirate Bay – the leading location on the Internet for getting things for free. That puts a lot of eyes on the Internet users of Sweden and, according to Lund University’s Cybernorms research group, 700,000 Swedes are paying for VPN services designed to hinder access to – and surveillance of – their online activities.

Compared to 500,000 Swedes using VPNs in 2009, the demographic pushing the nearly 30% increase in users looking to limit snooping on their web behaviors are young people in the 15 to 25 year-old age bracket. That demo comprises 15% of the total and is up by about 10% from 2009.

It’s not hard to see the pattern. As surveillance (by governments and private entities like Facebook and Google and other Internet entities) continues to heighten under the guise of hunting for file sharers, the technology to prevent such snooping will not only get better, but more people will be willing to shell out a few bucks for it.

If interested in learning more about VPNs, TorrentFreak put together a great list of which VPN providers actually do what they claim, and which ones don’t.

Image: VPN Net from BigStockPhoto.com

Tree Hotel Mirrorcube

Continuing the series of insane hotels, I offer the Mirrorcube at the Tree Hotel, Harads, Sweden.  It’s a 4m by 4m by 4m aluminium cube covered in mirrored glass hung round a tree trunk.  Once it’s in place, it simply disappears into the forest.  The panoramic views from the windows must be absolutely stunning.

Designed by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, the cube is a treehouse for two people, with room for a kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and roof terrace.  None of the pictures show how you actually get into the cube but rope ladders and bridges are mentioned in the blurb.

In case you are wondering about birds flying into the cube, apparently the glass is coated in an ultraviolet colour which is invisible to us but visible to birds.

A must for all Predators taking a short break on Earth.