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Monday, August 12, 2013

PayPal Cut off VPN Provider

Payment service PayPal has cut off the popular VPN provider iPredator, known as an anonymity service run by The Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde. Swedish based iPredator can’t accept payments anymore, and its PayPal assets are frozen for up to 6 months. The payment service failed to provide any details as to why the VPN provider was banned. It is only known that the action comes after their credit card processor stopped doing business with all VPN services.


It is known that PayPal doesn’t like BitTorrent websites, Usenet providers and file-hosting services. Now it seems that VPN providers might suffer the same fate. iPredator was known as “The Pirate Bay” VPN, because the service was launched by the old TPB crew 4 years ago. At the moment, iPredator is operated by some independent non-profit foundation. Peter Sunde admitted that the disconnection came without prior warning and with no explanation from PayPal. The latter simply stated that there is “an issue with the account”.

In the meantime, PayPal wasn’t the first service that kicked out iPredator – just a few weeks ago the service was also disconnected by its credit card payment processor Payson. The latter simply changed its terms of services and disallowed VPNs. Peter Sunde thinks that the two incidents can be related. The attempts to contact PayPal to get more information on the reason proved fruitless, as did the efforts of the company to find a replacement for Payson.

In addition, one of the largest European payment processors told iPredator that it has been put on a blacklist of services allowed to accept credit card payments. However, both MasterCard and Visa denied there were any claims of an operational blacklist.

As you can understand, for the legitimate VPN service the vagueness and lack of transparency are most frustrating, because they would like to know the reason they were banned for. So, as long as PayPal keeps silence, experts can only guess why the VPN provider is banned – maybe because of its affiliation with The Pirate Bay by operating a proxy, or because of VPNs becoming tricky business.

In the meantime, the company is forced to go to the “dark corners” of the worldwide web to find payment providers who don’t refuse working with them. iPredator still has a few payment options left, including Bitcoin, and the crew hopes that the Internet users are willing to support them during the tough times.


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