giganews blog

Corporate culture, personal experiences, and unique observations about Giganews, Usenet, Newsgroups, and Usenet related technologies.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Take Back Your Internet with Giganews at SXSW

Giganews is back at SXSW hosting Take Back Your Internet with Golden Frog. Back in 2016, Golden Frog and Giganews discussed governments wanting to backdoor into encrypted communications. This year, the Texas Public Policy Foundation is joining us in hosting our Take Back Your Internet event. Where we will be discussing the current state of the Internet around the world.

Event Details

When: Friday, March 9th, 2018 6 PM
Where: Texas Public Policy Foundation, 901 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701
Cost: Just RSVP to the event (SXSW badge is NOT required)

Topics of Discussion

What is next after net neutrality?
The FCC recently voted to repeal net neutrality guidelines and was met with extreme pushback from the public. Now that net neutrality provisions are officially gone, it's time to look forward and find a new solution to ensure that Internet users in the United States have access to an open Internet, without restrictions on their speed or access imposed by broadband providers. Golden Frog believes open access is the best solution!

What can we do about the decline of Internet freedoms worldwide?
This year's Freedom on the Net revealed the alarming fact that Internet freedoms continue to decline worldwide for the 7th year in a row. As more countries filter and censor the Internet and block important tools like Usenet and VPNs, it's imperative we fight back and grant Internet users around the world the Internet freedoms they deserve.

Is your personal data your personal property?
Who should retain ownership of your personal data? What rules should companies follow when collecting, saving and even selling this information? We'll discuss privacy implications of all the data being shared online, and the concept of personal data as property.


This year's event features the following panelists, who will tackle the questions above from unique points of view.

Philip Molter, Co-CTO, Golden Frog
Philip drives the technology development and decisions for our products and services, and has over 20 years of experience working with Internet service companies. Philip is responsible for scaling Golden Frog's products and services and designing and implementing new technologies, including VyprVPN's proprietary Chameleon technology.

Drew White, Senior Federal Policy Analyst, TPPF
Drew is the Senior Federal Policy Analyst for the Center for Tenth Amendment Action at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Most recently, he spent two years in the U.S. Senate as Domestic Policy Advisor for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Prior to that, he worked a variety of issues as a Legislative Strategist at Heritage Action for America. He was a member of the Koch Associate Program, where he helped advance economic freedom and limited government through non-profit engagement with the public.

Rachel Wolbers, Policy Director, Engine
Rachel is currently focused on developing policy priorities and engaging with lawmakers to promote startup interests in Washington. Rachel is a veteran in tech policy, with deep experience in government and the private sector. She recently managed policy advocacy for some of the nation's leading tech companies, and, before that, served as Legal Counsel for Congressman Blake Farenthold.

Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Chief Technologist, CDT
Joseph is the Chief Technologist and Director of the Internet Architecture project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, a Washington, DC-based non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring the Internet remains open, innovative and free. His work focuses on the intersection of technology, law, and policy, with a goal of ensuring technical considerations are appropriately embedded into legal and policy instruments.

Moderator: Ellen Troxclair, Member, Austin City Council
Ellen is an accomplished businesswoman and an active member of the Austin, Texas community. She currently represents District 8 on the Austin City Council. In her professional career, she manages a successful residential real estate business and is dedicated to making living in Austin affordable. After graduating with a degree in business from the University of Texas, she began a decade-long career in public policy. In her capacity at the State Capitol, she worked with constituents, local municipalities, state agencies and interest groups in researching and developing effective policy on a vast array of issues.

Join Us – RSVP Now!

About TPPF
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to "promote and defend liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise in Texas and the nation by educating and affecting policymakers and the Texas public policy debate with academically sound research and outreach."

Monday, November 20, 2017

Outfox: An Optimized Gaming Network Moves out of Beta

Our Partner, Golden Frog's newest product – Outfox – moved out of beta and was officially released! Outfox is an optimized gaming network that routes your traffic through their network to improve connection stability, decrease lag and lower ping. Outfox increases your speed and improves overall performance while gaming.

You can think of Outfox like "Waze for the internet." Just like roads, network traffic can be congested – but unlike when you are driving your car, your ISP is not motivated to find you the fastest route to where you're going. Instead, ISPs are motivated by costs and often select network paths that deliver the largest volume of traffic for the cheapest price. With Outfox, Golden Frog took a different approach.

Golden Frog capitalized on their knowledge building and running worldwide networks like VyprVPN. Their dedicated DevOps and Network Engineers are constantly monitoring and evaluating the best routes for your traffic to determine the best path, ensuring each gamer can achieve optimal ping, speed and stability.

It's time for all you gamers out there to improve your performance! When you sign up for Outfox you get a free 14-day trial with no credit card information required. Upgrade to a paid account at any time and get Outfox for only $9.95/month. Sign Up For Outfox Now

Outfox Accounts Include

  • Stable and swift connection: Stability and speed enable you to improve your performance while gaming and outperform the competition
  • Worldwide network: Outfox currently has 25 server locations worldwide, with more coming soon
  • Clever application: Including a Fastest Server feature that automatically determines the fastest server for you (even if that's your standard connection), and a Session Graph displaying your metrics when playing the game
  • Game support: Outfox currently supports the following games, with more coming soon: League of Legends, Overwatch, Dota 2, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, Smite, H1Z1, Team Fortress 2, Street Fighter V, World of Tanks, Playerunknown's Battlegrounds, Rocket League, Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Siege, Battlefield 1
Our Partner, Golden Frog provides VyprVPN services for our Platinum and Diamond users. Start your 14-day free trial now.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Usenet is the Last Bastion of Internet Freedom

Recent headlines should have anyone that uses the Internet a little concerned. Not just those who are currently being targeting by activists, and Tech companies for hate speech, but anyone who has a belief, a position, or even a stance on an issue someone could find offensive. The social winds in the U.S. have gone through a number of dramatic changes throughout the centuries, but the one thing that has been constant is the protected public discourse for those with opposing opinions. Sadly, that unfettered belief and support of Free Speech appears to be a waning trend in the U.S.

In no way are we advocating for the hate speech being spewed, nor would we ever. However illogical ideas and arguments can only be defeated with logic, and understanding – not censorship or some mob version of public banishment. That kind of solution only happens in authoritarian regimes that do not respect free speech.

For decades the Technology industry has pushed against any legislation that would make them unquestioning censors on behalf of the government. We’ve argued with them – side by side – that we are innovators who create creative space. It is up to law enforcement to determine who has committed a crime. That was true until Charlottesville, when dozens of large Technology companies decided to do their part in censoring the hate spewing perpetrators, along with their sympathizers. Big Tech showed the world that they are more than capable of conducting their own anti-thought, censorship campaign. They proved to every halfwit elected official that we are more than capable of going after anyone they deemed unruly, or disruptive to one’s harmony, or electorate.

The Internet has thrived since its introduction because it has been a place where individuals could connect with one another. They've shared ideas, problems, and solutions, allowing innovation to take its course. We see now, still a bonanza of ideas coming to fruition because of the unchecked space that is the Internet. However, that looks like it may be coming to an end. The origins for using the Internet as a forum for ideas and to connect like-minded individuals started well over a decade before in Usenet Newsgroups.

Usenet started in 1980, and is the precursor to the web browsing Internet we are all familiar with today. It is simply put, a public space where people can communicate through threads. The most notable differences between Usenet groups and the modern Internet is there is no central server, or dedicated administrator. Essentially it has been an all but forgotten free space of thought that has existed for almost 50 years.

Unfortunately people are clamoring for the end of free space to use as a place to discuss, diverge, or support ideas in an attempt to silence their opposition. What they are not considering how this will impact them when the winds of change flow in another direction. They have made it difficult, if not dangerous to have an opinion, but a simple and reliable place to communicate ideas does exist in the form of Usenet newsgroups. So before you go off hiding from self-deputized activists, corporate entities, or even government censors, remember that there is still a place to learn without an invisible hand trying to guide the way.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Golden Frog Introduces Outfox: An Optimized Gaming Network

We're thrilled to announce that our partner Golden Frog has launched a new product - Outfox! Outfox is an optimized gaming network that routes your traffic through Golden Frog's network, which improves connection stability to decrease lag and lower ping. Outfox increases your speed and improves your overall performance while gaming.

To build Outfox, Golden Frog capitalized on the expertise they have building and running their VyprVPN networks. By applying this know-how to the world of gaming, Golden Frog is able to offer an exceptional experience to a whole new set of Internet users - gamers!

Outfox offers the following, with updates being made all the time:
  • Stable and swift connection - stability and speed enable you to improve your performance while gaming and outperform the competition
  • Worldwide network - Outfox currently has 11 servers in their network, with more coming soon
  • Clever application - including a Fastest Server feature that automatically determines the fastest server for you (even if that's your standard connection)
  • Game support - Outfox currently supports the following games, with more coming soon: League of Legends, Overwatch, Dota 2, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, H1Z1, Team Fortress 2, Street Fighter V, World of Tanks
  • Experienced team - Decades of network experience allows Golden Frog to create an exceptional product
Are you a gamer? Do you know a gamer? Do you just want to learn more? Visit the Outfox Website and join the beta now - It's FREE!


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

District Court Grants Giganews Motion to Appoint Receiver for Perfect 10

We are excited to announce that the United States District Court for the Central District of California has granted Giganews' motion to appoint a receiver to carry out a levy on all of Perfect 10's intellectual property. The intellectual property includes but is not limited to all domain names, copyrights and trademarks of Perfect 10. The receiver will now begin the process of liquidating the intellectual property. Any proceeds from the sale of the intellectual property will be used to partially satisfy Giganews' $5.6 million attorney's fees judgment against Perfect 10 that was awarded by the same District Court in 2015. This judgment was awarded as part of Giganews' long running litigation with the serial copyright litigant Perfect 10, which originally filed suit against Giganews in April 2011. We won victory after victory over the course of the case, prevailing on every claim and obtaining the attorney's fees award, culminating in a unanimous victory before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in January 2017. That ruling upheld early rulings of three separate federal judges in favor of Giganews.

"We are determined to collect 100% of what is owed to us by Perfect 10 from this cowardly and frivolous lawsuit," said Ron Yokubaitis CEO and Co-Founder of Giganews. "This is a big win for Usenet and for user platforms over the entire open Internet. This ruling will now put a copyright troll out of business and free up the courts from baseless lawsuits."

Any parties that are interested in purchasing any of the intellectual property can contact the receiver David Pasternak (, or Giganews' litigation counsel Andrew Bridges ( with Fenwick & West.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Giganews wins landmark victory in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal against Perfect 10

Today we at Giganews are celebrating our victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a landmark copyright law decision against Perfect 10, Inc.

"This has been a long and hard-fought battle," said Ron Yokubaitis, Co-CEO of Giganews.  "We decided that it would be important to stand up to Perfect 10 and not be bullied by its abusive litigation tactics.  We were not going to settle this case just to avoid the risk of potentially catastrophic statutory damages in today's crazy copyright world, a threat that unscrupulous plaintiffs like Perfect 10 use to extract unjust settlements from more timid companies.  We took a stand for Usenet, for technology and online platforms, for the public, and for ultimate benefit of rational copyright law.  We were not just battling Perfect 10:  standing behind Perfect 10 – and even sharing in its oral argument at the court of appeals – was the Recording Industry Association of America(RIAA), which tried to argue that it was voicing the interests of small copyright holders."

In the case, the notorious repeat copyright plaintiff Perfect 10, Inc. – which before suing Giganews had sued Google,, Microsoft, Tumblr, and many other Internet services – sued Giganews for billions of dollars over alleged copyright infringements on its Usenet service.  At its core, the case was a fundamental challenge to the Usenet industry.

Giganews has a long standing history of working with copyright holders, large and small, to remove claimed infringing messages from its Usenet servers.  Giganews processes millions of notifications of claimed infringement each year by relying upon copyright holders to provide machine readable message-IDs. Message-IDs are the only reliable means for Giganews to accurately identify the material to be removed from its service.

Perfect 10 refused to send Giganews Message-IDs for Usenet messages.   Instead, Perfect 10 sent demands that Giganews search for messages by using various search terms that Perfect 10 specified, seeking to impose heavy processing burdens upon Giganews and to introduce risks of errors in the process.  Giganews insisted on receiving proper notifications from Perfect 10 with machine readable message-IDs.  Rather than working with Giganews to take effective action to reduce the incidence of infringements of Perfect 10's copyrights, Perfect 10 chose to sue for billions of dollars of windfall "statutory" damages under copyright law.

In earlier stages of the litigation, three separate federal judges in the trial court in Los Angeles made key rulings for Giganews, culminating in a complete victory for Giganews in late 2014.  The trial court also awarded Giganews over $5.6 million in attorney's fees and costs against Perfect 10 in 2015.

Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, by a 3-0 decision, affirmed Giganews' victory.  The court's opinion consolidated important principles of copyright law which will positively impact online service providers for years to come.  Here are some of the key technical points:
  • The court reaffirmed a requirement of proximate causation in claims of direct copyright infringement and ruled that the mere operation of a service and systems like those of Giganews was not a proximate cause of copyright infringements.
  • The court affirmed the trial court's finding that there was no evidence that Giganews personnel had uploaded allegedly infringing material to Usenet.
  • The court reaffirmed the principle that provision of services like those of Giganews do not constitute a "material contribution" to infringement, an element of contributory infringement.
  • The court ruled that Giganews did not fail to take any simple measures available to curb infringement, an element of contributory infringement.
  • The court ruled that Giganews did not do anything to induce copyright infringement, an element of contributory infringement.
  • The court ruled that a plaintiff must show that a defendant has obtained a direct financial benefit from infringement of the plaintiff's copyrights, not from other infringements, in claims for vicarious liability, and that Perfect 10 had not shown any direct financial benefit to Giganews from infringement of Perfect 10's copyrights.
  • The court ruled that an award of attorney's fees to Giganews was appropriate in recognition that a successful defense of a copyright claim can advance the purposes and policies of the Copyright Act.
Looking specifically at Giganews's conduct, the court also noted the following:
  • Other than setting basic parameters, Giganews does not select any of the content available on its servers. Indeed, Giganews itself did not post any of the articles at issue in this action to any Usenet server, and all such articles were posted by Usenet users. Nor does Giganews tell any third parties what to upload to Usenet, including Giganews'[s] Usenet servers.
  • When Perfect 10 sent Giganews machine-readable Message-IDs, Giganews quickly removed those messages from its servers. When Perfect 10 faxed Giganews notices containing illegible Message-IDs, Giganews responded with a letter asking Perfect 10 to provide the Message-IDs in a legible, machine readable format. Perfect 10 repeatedly declined to do so.
  • An analysis of Perfect 10's evidence showed only that users uploaded infringing content onto Giganews servers, not that Giganews played any sort of active role in causing any distribution.
  • The evidence Perfect 10 cited did not demonstrate copying by Giganews.  Operating a system used to make copies at the user's command does not mean that the system operator, rather than the user, caused copies to made. Perfect 10 provided no evidence showing Giganews exercised control (other than by general operation of a Usenet service); selected any material for upload, download, transmission, or storage; or instigated any copying, storage, or distribution.
  • The court concluded the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding that Perfect 10 had an improper motivation, that the "objective unreasonableness" factor weighed slightly in Giganews' favor, that considerations of compensation and deterrence weighed in favor of a fee award, and that it would not be inequitable to award attorney's fees to Giganews.
Because the rulings of both the trial court and the court of appeals decisively rejected the core elements of Perfect 10's copyright infringement claims, the courts had no need to reach the question whether Giganews also qualified for the safe harbor that online services enjoy under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  The safe harbor protects those who are otherwise liable for infringement by limiting the remedies that would flow from a finding of infringement. The courts found no evidence of infringement by Giganews in the first place.

Giganews is grateful to those who have supported it in its long and expensive fight.  They include Internet Infrastructure Coalition (I2C), Internet Association, Computer & Communications Industry Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries, who supported it with amicus briefs.   

With this decision, Perfect 10's days as a copyright troll masquerading as an adult content provider are now finished. The case now moves to its final stage to collect attorney's fees from Perfect 10.  Giganews is seeking the appointment of a receiver to take charge of all of Perfect 10's copyrights, trademarks, and domain names and to liquidate them in partial satisfaction of Giganews' judgment against Perfect 10.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Golden Frog Adds 15 New VyprVPN Server Locations

Golden Frog added 15 new VyprVPN server locations in Algeria, Bulgaria, Egypt, El Salvador, Greece, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Pakistan, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Uruguay. These additional server locations will offer our Diamond and Platinum members security and freedom when accessing the Internet in these regions. We are excited to see the expansion of VPN server locations in Golden Frog's fight to defeat online censorship and to keep the internet open and accessible. At Giganews, we feel it is important to protect your Usenet connections with SSL and protect all of your internet connections with VyprVPN.

How to Access the New VyprVPN Server Location:

  • VyprVPN Desktop - If you use VyprVPN Desktop, the new server locations will automatically be available when you choose your server location.
  • VyprVPN Mobile - To enable the new server locations as an option using VyprVPN Mobile, simply log out of the app and log back in.
Giganews members with VyprVPN have unlimited access to 70+ server locations. They offer unlimited switching between server locations and have over 200,000 IP addresses, so server connections are always available.
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