VyprVPN ownership change brings US jurisdiction move


Updated 5th May to include a quote from Certida CEO, David Van Allen.

Anyone who has used or taken a look at VyrVPN over the years will be aware of their ownership, as the main website ran on the amusingly named Golden Frog domain.

But that’s all in the past now, as VyprVPN has a brand-new parent company. And with them comes a new jurisdiction that, frankly, some users will not be too thrilled about.

Who owns VyprVPN now?

VyprVPN’s new parent company is known as Certida.

Certida’s website is spartan at best, particularly when compared to Golden Frog’s own site, but we can say to the best of our knowledge that Certida appears to be a rebranding of Golden Frog.

If this was just a case of changing the name of the parent company, then it wouldn’t be much of a story, but the crucial detail is around where Certida has been incorporated.

Golden Frog operated out of Texas, for the most part, but it was incorporated in Switzerland. For VPN users, this meant that VyprVPN was subject to Swiss law.

This matters for privacy reasons because Swiss law is, on the whole, pretty good when it comes to data retention and protecting the privacy of individuals.

However, Certida was incorporated in Texas, USA. And with Certida now the official parent company of VyprVPN, that means VyprVPN itself is now subject to US law rather than Swiss law.

At the moment, the truth is that this makes little material difference to users. There is currently nothing in US law that requires VPNs to retain user data and so, for VyprVPN users, their data should be as secure and private as ever.

However, the US does not exactly have a great reputation for respecting user privacy and there are plenty of VPN users who are uncomfortable using US-based VPNs, either because they fear the US government may be able to see their data anyway or they suspect the laws on this matter may soon change.

What we would say is that there is no evidence of either of things happening at the moment and so VyprVPN users have nothing to fear. Should that situation change, we will, of course, ensure that our readers are the first to know.

A low key change

One detail around this change that will raise a few eyebrows is how low-key it has been.

VyprVPN, Golden Frog, and Certida have very much slipped this new arrangement out on the quiet.

The support articles on the VyprVPN website, which respond to questions about the VPN’s jurisdiction were updated to reflect the change 22 days ago but as no one has covered this until this very news posting, why was none of the press informed?

VyprVPN support article

We also note that the VyprVPN Facebook and Twitter accounts both now refer to VyprVPN as being “The highly secure, no-log VPN is VyprVPN by Certida”, with the Facebook page adding that Certida was “formerly Golden Frog”.

VyprVPN Facebook page

We have also approached VyprVPN for comment and received this short and succinct response:

“You are correct about VyprVPN no longer being under a company incorporated in Switzerland. VyprVPN is now under Certida, which is incorporated in the state of Texas in the United States.”

But there has been no announcement been made to users, which is pretty poor practice if we are honest, no statement on their website, no press release, nothing.

To be clear, we have no reason to suspect that there is anything dodgy behind this switch. But it is something that has definitely been done on the quiet, and with some VPN users, that sort of move is definitely considered to be a red flag.

Certida CEO, David Van Allen reached out to answer some of the questions we put to him with the following statement:

The owners and management of Certida are long time friends and colleagues of the owners of GoldenFrog, and we share the core values that GoldenFrog has long established with VyprVPN and our valued customers. 
Certida is now operating, supporting and improving VyprVPN after a long period of quietness for the product. The changes you are seeing from GoldenFrog to Certida have only recently begun, and we’re super excited about the future.
Certida is committed to vigorously maintain VyprVPN’s historical suite of privacy and protection features for all of our customers. Our commitment to VyprVPN’s No-Log policy, our unique No-Log DNS system, and the integrity of our network is our highest priority.
Even thought Certida is a US based company, our VyprVPN data systems remain global and protected by strong privacy laws in various regions.
VyprVPN is going through a complete refresh, both in network performance and in a soon-to-be-released Version 5 app for macOS, iOS, Android and Windows.
So all in all, the change from GoldenFrog to Certida is more of boring corporate stuff as you outlined, however, with that change, VyprVPN will see a set of remarkable improvements in the coming weeks and months.

Why has this change been implemented now?

The big question is, why have VyprVPN made this move? There is nothing to indicate why Golden Frog has suddenly morphed into Certida or why the Switzerland to Texas switch has taken place.

Doubtless there is a reason, and it’s probably a dull and corporate one. But for the sake of transparency, in an industry where openness is so vital to ensuring user confidence, we would like to see more information released on this change.

For now, there is no obvious reason for VyprVPN users to be concerned. But this is definitely something we will be keeping our eyes on and if you’re against your VPN provider being based in the US or a 5-eyes country, now would be the time to move.

Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 7 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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