If you’re a wise individual you are not currently following the news in the US. There’s a whole lot going on though, with the latest controversy being a vote in the Senate and House of Representatives that essentially rolled back many internet privacy provisions. This now means that your internet service provider has the ability to sell your internet history to outside parties, without your knowledge or consent. This has led many people, especially the technologically minded gamers out there, to look at VPN services. The problem is that using a VPN with popular PC platform Steam can be a bannable offense. But that might be changing now.
According to a Reddit thread on the Steam subreddit, a user emailed Valve founder Gabe Newell about the problem, asking if the current stance against VPN’s would be changed. Gabe has actually been responsive to these types of emails before, usually with a short and succinct reply. True to form Gabe responded with a simple “we’re thinking about this.”
Not a definitive “yes” that Valve will be changing their policy that VPN use with Steam can result in a ban. Still it is great news for any gamers out there who were thinking about using a VPN to bolster their privacy in this new age of the internet.
VPN’s help hide your browsing patterns, even from your ISP, as they encrypt your data and make it all hidden from view by outside parties. They are also often used by corporations to allow outside parties into their internal network. Blocking VPN’s makes sense for Steam in a security sense, by preventing users from obfuscating their location and other data, but it hurts users who use them for legitimate purposes. Hopefully Gabe’s indication that the policy could be changed will pan out and we can all hide ourselves from the internet police and game at the same time.