Robert. Thank you for joining me today. Could you start by telling me what CyberGhost is all about?
Robert Knapp: Hello and thank you for having me. CyberGhost is a Privacy as a Service (PaaS) company with a mission to provide everyone with unrestricted access to information while prioritizing user privacy. We offer a Consumer VPN Service that is trusted by over 15 million people worldwide.
Interviewer: I understand that CyberGhost is headquartered in Romania. Why did you choose Romania as a base for your company, and how has it impacted your operations?
Robert Knapp: Two factors influenced our decision to base CyberGhost in Romania: tech and legal factors. Eastern Europe has a highly skilled talent pool when it comes to cybersecurity, making it a natural hub for successful companies in the field. Additionally, Romanian legislation allows us to prioritize user privacy without storing user data or implementing backdoors. Romania is also part of the European Union, which is known for its high data security standards.
Interviewer: It’s interesting that your Research & Development team is based in Germany. Can you tell us why this is so important to CyberGhost, and how it affects your operations?
Robert Knapp: Yes, our R&D team is based in Germany, and we are proud to be a unique Eastern European company that outsourced its development to Western Europe. Germany has high IT security standards and an excellent educational system, producing qualified cryptography experts. Our German R&D center is located near top-notch universities, providing access to the best talent. For us, “Made in Germany” combined with “Headquartered in CEE” is the perfect mix.
Interviewer: CyberGhost was recently acquired by Crossrider PLC. Can you explain how this acquisition has impacted your company, and what changes can we expect in the future?
Robert Knapp: Crossrider’s investment has allowed us to extend our team, hire more managers and specialists, and expand our server park to over 1,000 servers worldwide. We have also made significant under-the-hood improvements to our service, improving connectivity and quality. We have upcoming updates to our mobile applications and Mac version, and we are also working on future developments. However, this acquisition has not impacted our privacy policies or our operating base in Romania.
Interviewer: Privacy is a critical issue for CyberGhost. Can you explain why privacy is so important to your company, and what measures you take to ensure it?
Robert Knapp: Privacy is not just something we enjoy, it is necessary for us to develop who we are. Our actions and the society we live in are shaped and produced by constant data collection. As a no-logs VPN provider, we do not store user data, emphasizing our commitment to user privacy. We believe that encryption should be the standard for all relevant communication, and we take pride in our rock-solid foundations, which are ISO 27001+9001 certified.
Interviewer: As the online world becomes increasingly competitive, what do you think sets CyberGhost apart from your competitors?
Robert Knapp: We take a thorough approach to building our VPN technology, which sets us apart from our competitors. Our server park can assimilate new servers automatically, and our core technology is based on an own API, allowing for the division of form and function. We see ourselves as a Privacy as a Service company, not just a VPN company. We take the time to learn and know every detail of the issues we are dealing with, making us different and better at what we do.
Interviewer: Government surveillance and censorship of internet content are on the rise worldwide. What do you think can be done about this issue?
Robert Knapp: Reform and encryption should be the standard. Secret services like the NSA are overstepping our constitutions, and we need to reform them. Encryption of all relevant communication on the side of hardware, software, and providers should be the standard to combat surveillance.
Interviewer: Who do you believe represents the greatest danger to ordinary internet users’ privacy: governments or private companies like Google and Facebook?
Robert Knapp: In my opinion, governments are the greatest danger to internet users’ privacy as they allow secret services to infringe on civil and human rights. Private companies like Google and Facebook can also be a danger, but they are not in a position to impact privacy to the extent that governments can.
Interviewer: Finally, can you recommend any other tools or approaches to protect online privacy besides using a VPN?
Robert Knapp: I believe the most important tool is common sense. Users should understand that every internet-connected device is potentially a bugging device, and every email and online chat is a public conversation. It is important to act accordingly and use discretion when sharing personal information online.
Interviewer: Thank you, Robert, for sharing your insights with us today. We appreciate your time and expertise.
Robert Knapp: Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure to speak with you.