Re: The browser business is really tough
"using a VPN does not protect your privacy - it only allows you to access stuff that is country-restricted"
The whole point behind a VPN is to establish an encrypted tunnel connection between two points across a public network, virtually a private network. It is not meant to provide privacy beyond the VPN tunnel. My VPN does exactly this and it is exactly what I need when I cannot trust the hotel WiFi, my ISP, my mobile data carrier. I reside in the US and the only real choice of ISP I have is Comcast. Comcast has a track record of snooping on traffic, DNS redirect and "traffic management of competitive streaming" as an example. Where I travel (US only) and need mobile service, only AT&T has the coverage. AT&T has a track record of snooping on traffic, supercookies as an example. Combine these facts with the fact that no public WiFi can be trusted and a VPN is not just a nice to have, but a necessity.
My VPN fails miserably at allowing access to stuff that is country-restricted since both on and off points are in the US. A proxy can provide access to county-restricted stuff as well but without the privacy of the encrypted connection.
I would feel comfortable using my VPN to access my facebook account, if I had one. The privacy provided by my VPN is not impacted by accessing a public forum like The Reg forums.
The whole not keeping logs bit is a bit over the top, but simply using a VPN can be argued that you are up to no good. Anything can be made to look suspicious. The current lot of humans seem to be gullible enough to believe anything if presented in the right way.
BTW, I have verified my VPN does not keep logs, I have console access to be able to audit things like that. I have implemented my own VPN. Not something the typical human can pull off though.