Romania-based VPN provider CyberGhost has recently published an 18-page transparency report to reassure its 30 million users that it places the utmost importance on keeping their personal information secure.
Back in 2011, CyberGhost was the first VPN provider to publish this type of report, revealing exactly how it responded to any requests from law enforcement agencies for user information. This more recent publication shows how the number of these requests has changed over the years and explains what this means for those who use the VPN service.
It breaks down legal requests into three categories – DMCA complaints, Malicious Activity Flags, and police requests. DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) complaints are the most common, and in most cases indicated that copyrighted material was shared illegally using a CyberGhost IP address.
The number of DMCA complaints received by CyberGhost saw a dramatic increase, starting at just 139 in 2011 and reaching a peak of 43,647 in 2016. This number has gone down slightly since, coming in at 27,747 in 2018 – this is most likely due to new measures that involve blocking ports used for torrenting in countries where specific laws are in place.
Malicious Activity Flags went from 27 in 2011 to a massive 11,116 in 2018. These sorts of complaints usually come from website owners or app developers and are to do with scams or automated emails being sent from CyberGhost IPs – one way the company is attempting to prevent this is by blocking access to the victim’s IP from CyberGhost servers.
Police requests hit a peak of 73 in 2014, up from just 11 in 2011 – the 2018 figure was 37. These usually involve IP addresses linked to criminal investigations or court cases – they first go through CyberGhost’s data center collaborators before reaching the team directly.
While these numbers may all seem alarming at first glance, the purpose of this transparency report is to remind CyberGhost users of the company’s commitment to keeping their information safe. A strict zero-logs policy means that it’s unable to comply with any sort of data requests, legally binding or not.
The report doesn’t list any additional procedures that were taken following the requests, as CyberGhost doesn’t observe, record, log or store user data, meaning it simply has nothing to hand over. It also chose not to review the legality of the requests received.
We hope the level of transparency displayed by CyberGhost encourages other providers to act in the same way, and publish similar details to grant users the highest possible peace of mind.
Having looked at CyberGhost in depth ourselves, we believe it’s one of the best budget VPNs on the current market. Excellent performance backed by solid security features and a proven zero logs policy makes it a good choice for VPN newbies and experienced users alike.