More Encouragement for Bad Actors

July 19, 2019

If one is looking to avoid censorship or regional blocking online, the best option is really to set up a VPN. However, for those who prefer a browser-based solution, PirateBrowser may be the answer. MakeUseOf gives us “3 Shocking Reasons to Use PirateBrowser in Your Country.” Reporter Christian Cawley begins with a little background:

“First released in 2013, the PirateBrowser is a web browser issued by the Pirate Bay website. The notorious file sharing site created the browser to help members find the site after it was banned. … The PirateBrowser is a version of Mozilla Firefox with the FoxyProxy add-on. There is also Tor integration (using Vidalia), which helps to beat censorship. For example, sites blocked in countries across the European Union, Iran, and North Korea can be accessed using the Pirate Browser. Sites blocked or limited by ISPs are unblocked when viewing with the PirateBrowser.”

Pirate Bay went on to make another version, PirateSnoop, which is based on Chrome instead of Firefox. So, yes, if one wants to get around censorship or geo-blocked streaming services, these are good options. The third reason may surprise some, but makes perfect sense—getting better prices on hotels, flights, and other purchases. Cawley writes:

“Online stores of all kinds base their pricing on where you are based. With a tool like PirateBrowser, you can visit sites selling technology and other goods and get a different price. This might even be substantially lower than the price on offer in your usual browser. This is a trick that is regularly used with a VPN. Usually, booking flights and hotel stays can prove cheaper by visiting a different version of the usual site. For example, you might live in country A and book from country B to make a saving. While this option isn’t available in PirateBrowser, its ability to circumvent website detection can result in lower prices.”

The article assures us that we need not navigate to Pirate Bay to access PirateBrowser or PirateSnoop, so they are completely legal to download (see the links above). We are cautioned, though, that the browser does not render users anonymous. Websites and internet providers will be able to see what you do, which is more or less of a problem depending on which country you are in. Once again we come to the notion of setting up a VPN—it is your best bet if you need your privacy. In case readers wish to know more about that option, the article supplies this link to MakeUseOf’s list of The Best VPN Services.

Cynthia Murrell, July 19, 2019

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