Let’s have both sides of the coin; trade carefully on VPNs. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) make you unnoticeable on local servers and therefore not affected by clumping down by governments that may ask telecoms to block access to certain sites. They basically make you a ghost of sorts or place in a tunnel of traffic that makes it hard or impossible to be seen.

So here’s how VPNs work in our tax context: Imagine you’re running on the street with a bag full of money because there’s a guy who wants to take his small share (let’s call it tax). Luckily you see a speeding van but it’s clearly labeled “thugs” (let’s call that VPN). You throw the bag in there. They give you relief from the guy chasing you as they speed off with the bag but you don’t know their address so you’re on their mercy to keep the bag safely and/or to return it to you.

With VPN you handover your connectivity to some folks with no traceable address, they have access to all your data and they choose to keep it safely or misuse it. It’s like dealing with a smuggling racket with no offices but you trust that they’ll deliver your goods safely.

You may also realize that your data usage may go up slightly depending on how heavy your VPN is.

Of course, just like smugglers, VPNs are business which make a lot of money through advertising – why you see some ads pop up on some of them. Therefore they try to maintain trust and credibility.

This is the little I know. Better techies can start from here or even correct me. I just thought we should have this conversation – see both sides of the coin.

What’s clear though is that it’s a catch-22. Runaway from the smugglers or the tax man? If your data isn’t safe with VPNs is it safe with the gov’t?

Just exercise personal discretion. In my view, if there was no tax and we’re just trying to go-around gov’t efforts to clamp down civil liberties, like they did during the last elections, with no financial connection, it would make a lot of sense. Bringing in the tax question changes everything to how much do we save by the evasion mechanism.

There’s also the question of faith, with some people relating social media tax and VPN to Jesus’ encounter with the tax men of his days, but that will be for another day, let’s first understand the tech side of things. What are your thoughts?

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Written by Michael Katagaya (0)

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