WARNING: IS NORDVPN A HONEYPOT?
We’ve covered numerous stories lately about how NordVPN (CloudVPN) and Tesonet both have the same CEO, Darius Bereika. We’ve also covered some more evidence on how this story came about, in that ProtonVPN has offices shared with Tesonet. Now if you don’t believe that, that’s fine. But today, we are going to discuss ANOTHER reason why you can’t trust NordVPN.
The real problem with NordVPN is they claim to be offshore and securely based in Panama. But I don’t believe that. CloudVPN, their payment processor, is based out of Lithuania, and there are clear ties to Tesonet that we’ve discussed and seen admitted by the companies.
Suffice to say, NordVPN is fully operated out of Lithuania and Lithuanians own the company that processes all customer billing info. That whole offshore thing is a lie, and they have no clue about international law. Yes, no one should use a VPN or security service that is tied to Tesonet. As we’ve discussed already, since Tesonet is a data mining company (despite them claiming they aren’t).
But the big problem here is, Nord is dishonest! This is the big issue. Dishonesty. And, because they are being so dishonest, and choosing not to address it in public, it should make people wonder what else they are hiding. NordVPN if you want us to take down anything here, TELL PEOPLE THE TRUTH. Just admit you are based out of Lithuania.
NordVPN Uses Panama to Register Entity? Bad Idea?
They are not securely offshore (It doesn’t matter what their management says), and Lithuania is one of the worst countries for privacy laws. The official “Owner” of NordVPN such as the domains and trademarks, have gone through great lengths to disguise their identity by registering the entity in Panama. There is NO information on Tefincom co S.A. – the entity that owns Nord trademarks.
Panama is one of the only countries that allows for anonymous company formation.
Anyone, literally ANYONE, with $1500 can open a shady anonymous Panama company in just a few days. They’ll provide a local address,resident agent, Nominee Directors, and power of attorney to the person in control so they can pull the strings behind the mask of Panama incorporation. Don’t believe me? Well, have you heard of the Panama Papers? Well, Panama is often used for “shell corporations used for illegal purposes, including fraud, tax evasion, and evading international sanctions.”
WHY, would anyone trust their privacy to a company who’s owner wishes to remain anonymous, and outsources 100% of it’s daily operations, accounting, billing, software dev, and marketing to a company in Lithuania. (Who just happens to run a bunch of other VPNs).
Why is NordVPN’s Base of Location Important?
Moving on to why they are misleading users and need to be called out: They tell people they are more secure because they are based in Panama, all safely tucked away “offshore”.
They are giving people legal advise that is completely incorrect. A persons billing information is no safer just because Nord’s parent is incorporated in Panama. Tefincom doesn’t operate the payment processing, Cloud VPN INC (Tesonet) does, and therefore holds all personal data on subscribers. The US Cloud VPN INC entity is not immune to legal process, as are the companies Lithuanian owners.
So to recap: NordVPN is lying to users about being an “offshore” VPN provider. They are processing payments through a US company owned by Lithuanians. This is 100% true, not allegations. They even admit it.
AND, they are going through great lengths to hide the identity of the individuals and/or companies that have majority ownership in NordVPN. People need to understand that transparency in company ownership is the SINGLE most important factor one should consider when picking a VPN. You are literally giving all of your web traffic to this company, you better know who they are, or else you cannot and should not trust them.
Lithuania has a mandatory 6 month data retention law
Don’t even get me started on this. You know how important it is that your VPN isn’t based in a country that is required to have logs right? Well, just so happens that Lithuania is one of the WORST places to keep ProtonVPN, ProtonMail, and NordVPN as a base of operations. And they’ve ADMITTED they still have offices in Lithuania, and that’s where their company started and still has operations.
Anyone who thinks that their billing info is safe tucked away in a Lithuanian office building should really consult an attorney.