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[APP][5.1+] VPN/Sentry - Virtual private network with firewall [DISCONTINUED]

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By M66B, Recognized Developer on 25th September 2017, 05:04 PM
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26th October 2017, 09:05 AM |#501  
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Originally Posted by M66B

Actually, it might be the end of the project. Yesterday I had legal counseling and the conclusion was that it is difficult to protect myself against legal trouble resulting from people misusing the service for illegal and/or criminal purposes. Blocking not allowed traffic is already difficult for big companies, so that is not a feasible option and then I am not even speaking about the privacy-related consequences. The problem is that even when I am completely innocent, defending myself against claims costs serious money. If you need examples, search for what happened to some people running a TOR exit node.

As a result, I am considering to remove VPN/Sentry from the Play store (this seems to be the only way to stop renewing of existing subscriptions as well) and to keep it for private use only. Maybe I will try to sell the product to one of the big VPN providers.

26th October 2017, 09:31 AM |#502  
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Originally Posted by M66B

Actually, it might be the end of the project. Yesterday I had legal counseling and the conclusion was that it is difficult to protect myself against legal trouble resulting from people misusing the service for illegal and/or criminal purposes. Blocking not allowed traffic is already difficult for big companies, so that is not a feasible option and then I am not even speaking about the privacy-related consequences. The problem is that even when I am completely innocent, defending myself against claims costs serious money. If you need examples, search for what happened to some people running a TOR exit node.

As a result, I am considering to remove VPN/Sentry from the Play store (this seems to be the only way to stop renewing of existing subscriptions as well) and to keep it for private use only. Maybe I will try to sell the product to one of the big VPN providers.

That sucks

Another possible way to mitigate the legal risk could be to make a simplified "single user" server that was super easy to deploy on different VPS providers and only charge for the application like Netguard. I've been working on a project that I've been using as an alternative to VPN/Sentry (https://github.com/dan-v/dosxvpn) that is just really a VPN + DNS adblocking with a very simple installer.

Anyways, just a thought. I hope you figure out a way to monetize all your hard work; it's a super cool project.
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26th October 2017, 09:48 AM |#503  
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Originally Posted by dantheman78

That sucks

Another possible way to mitigate the legal risk could be to make a simplified "single user" server that was super easy to deploy on different VPS providers and only charge for the application like Netguard. I've been working on a project that I've been using as an alternative to VPN/Sentry (https://github.com/dan-v/dosxvpn) that is just really a VPN + DNS adblocking with a very simple installer.

Anyways, just a thought. I hope you figure out a way to monetize all your hard work; it's a super cool project.

If monetizing is the goal, then I don't believe this is a solution, because it will reduce the user base significantly. In my experience, most people want free stuff only anyway. Less than one percent of the VPN/Sentry users are paying users for example, even though the service is severely limited to 50 MB per day. I have made this project paid mainly to get rid of often too demanding and even unreasonable free version users.
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26th October 2017, 09:51 AM |#504  
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Originally Posted by M66B

If monetizing is the goal, then I don't believe this is a solution, because it will reduce the user base significantly. In my experience, most people want free stuff only anyway. Less than one percent of the VPN/Sentry users are paying users for example, even though the service is severely limited to 50 MB per day. I have made this project paid mainly to get rid of often too demanding and even unreasonable free version users.

I wonder: was there any misuse from paid users or only from free users? I'm a free user also but if you would make it paid only (so nothing free) i would pay for the service.
26th October 2017, 09:56 AM |#505  
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Originally Posted by Droidphilev

I wonder: was there any misuse from paid users or only from free users? I'm a free user also but if you would make it paid only (so nothing free) i would pay for the service.

Paid users can misuse the service too, so this doesn't really matter.
26th October 2017, 10:01 AM |#506  
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Pinch me! It must be a nightmare and I'm gonna wake up...
As already said VPN/Sentry is a masterpiece. I finally have a tool to monitor and control my Internet connections!
Is there still hope or is it a losing battle?
26th October 2017, 10:05 AM |#507  
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Originally Posted by M66B

If monetizing is the goal, then I don't believe this is a solution, because it will reduce the user base significantly. In my experience, most people want free stuff only anyway. Less than one percent of the VPN/Sentry users are paying users for example, even though the service is severely limited to 50 MB per day. I have made this project paid mainly to get rid of often too demanding and even unreasonable free version users.

If you are trying to get rid of the free version users anyways, this seems like a reasonable approach to me. If you wanted it to be more cohesive, you could even build the VPN server deployment into the app itself. At first startup, you need to deploy your own server, pick a VPS, and then VPN server gets deployed into the users account.
26th October 2017, 10:09 AM |#508  
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Hi,

I cannot imagine that there is no way to protect yourself from what paid users do. It's like selling a Porsche and be responsible afterwards if the driver has an accident or drives to fast and gets caught. This also means that these big VPN companies are all paying for misuses of their thousands of users.

I'm not a lawyer though.
26th October 2017, 10:23 AM |#509  
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Originally Posted by Primokorn

Pinch me! It must be a nightmare and I'm gonna wake up...
As already said VPN/Sentry is a masterpiece. I finally have a tool to monitor and control my Internet connections!
Is there still hope or is it a losing battle?

Unfortunately, it is a lost battle I am afraid.
26th October 2017, 10:26 AM |#510  
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Originally Posted by Droidphilev

Hi,

I cannot imagine that there is no way to protect yourself from what paid users do. It's like selling a Porsche and be responsible afterwards if the driver has an accident or drives to fast and gets caught. This also means that these big VPN companies are all paying for misuses of their thousands of users.

I'm not a lawyer though.

In the Netherlands, a company director is personally liable for criminal/illegal activities (s)he knows of. Since in this case, you know that the service can be misused and you can, theoretically, prevent such misuse, you are personally liable. I am not willing to take this risk with an uncertain revenue since it could cost me a lot of money.
26th October 2017, 10:47 AM |#511  
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Originally Posted by M66B

In the Netherlands, a company director is personally liable for criminal/illegal activities (s)he knows of. Since in this case, you know that the service can be misused and you can, theoretically, prevent such misuse, you are personally liable. I am not willing to take this risk with an uncertain revenue since it could cost me a lot of money.

I see and understand. Let's wait for what you decide now.
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