Wed, 13 Oct 2021 04:09 UTC
If you've ever watched Ben Shapiro's podcast, or any Daily Wire content in general, it's painfully obvious that the organization is heavily funded by a company called ExpressVPN. There is paid material that Shapiro reads on the air to advertise the service, watermarks with the ExpressVPN logo applied to all his podcasts, and a unique Ben Shapiro discount for the product.
Shapiro even goes as far as promoting a text advertisement for the VPN service at the very top of every video description on YouTube, reading: "The Ben Shapiro Show is sponsored by ExpressVPN. Protect your online privacy today at https://expressvpn.com/benshapiroshow." But will those running the internet security company actually protect your privacy?
The association between Daily Wire and ExpressVPN is quite well known, but what is currently being kept very secret is the global hacking enterprise that took control of ExpressVPN just last month along with the international criminal intrigue surrounding the two Israelis who run the company - including a botched Russian assassination attempt on the company's billionaire majority stakeholder.
Last month, on September 13th, Israeli-based software company Kape Technologies bought the ultra-popular VPN service ExpressVPN for $936 million. The very same day, Kape Technologies acquired consumer review company Webselenese, based in Tel Aviv, for $149 million. In 24 hours, with the help of over a billion dollars, Kape Technologies assumed control of both the most popular VPN service in the world and a massive collection of VPN review websites.
Dual British-Israeli citizen Ido Erlichman is the CEO of Kape Technologies, which used to be called Crossrider, as Bloomberg notes. Erlichman reportedly rebranded the company in 2018 to detach himself from his day job at the same company, which involved injecting malware into his unsuspecting customers' browsers for his own profit.
Crossrider changed its name to Kape Technologies PLC in 2018, in CEO Ido Erlichman's words, to escape the "strong association to the past activities of the company."
The name change supposedly accompanied a full turnaround for Kape, as it said it was exiting malicious adware and moving into cybersecurity. However, in the same year, Kape still operated the infamous scareware Reimage - a potentially unwanted program that positions itself as a computer performance enhancer but which has been known to signal false positives on security threats in order to persuade you to pay for its premium service.
Crossrider was a well-known, largescale malware purveyor, so malevolent that Google had to warn the world about their activities in 2015. Software security service Malwarebytes has similarly alerted the public to Crossrider's crimes.
Before mass-disseminating malware to the world for profit, Erlichman worked for 4 years as a captain in the Israel Defense Forces, according to his LinkedIn page. He erased any reference to Crossrider on his LinkedIn page, and so has much of the Israeli media.
The Times of Israel released a propaganda piece on the day of the billion dollar acquisition completely whitewashing the company's and the CEO's malicious past, disingenuously describing Kape as a "cybersecurity firm" which "developed a range of privacy and security products for personal data protection."
But the merger announcement from ExpressVPN itself takes the cake for dystopian propaganda, considering its highly unscrupulous past.
From ExpressVPN Blog:
We've been impressed by Kape's clear commitment to protecting the privacy of users. Their track record with upholding the exacting privacy practices and policies of other privacy protection services under the Kape umbrella is a strong testament to how seriously they take their responsibility to respect user privacy and rights.
Along with the massive army of review websites its parent company now controls, ExpressVPN notably enjoys being consistently ranked by American independent tech reviewers such as CNET, TechRadar, and Tom's Guide as by far the best VPN in the world with over the top, fawning descriptions of the service.
Why are all elements of the media so unwilling to even publicly acknowledge Kape Technologies' long and wicked past? Perhaps because of this: Not only is the company's history marred with criminal and corrupt activity, but so too is the billionaire's who owns the company, having both a wrap sheet and amoral past stretching back decades.
A troubling international development related to the organization's leadership occurred at the beginning of this month with a Russian assassination attempt on the billionaire that is the company's majority stakeholder, in control of more than 60% of the Kape's issued shares. According to the Jerusalem Post, "Kape, based in the Isle of Man, is controlled by Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi." The Times of Israel reported on October 3rd that Sagi "was the target of an assassination plot in Cyprus due to debts he owes to Russian business partners." No further information on was provided.
But Sagi's distant past is even more haunting. Forbes confirmed back in 2015 at the height of Crossrider's wrath that Sagi is a white collar criminal "who was jailed for insider trading in the 1990s." One year before the Forbes report, The Daily Mail damningly exposed Sagi as an erstwhile pornography hawker and online casino operator.
From The Daily Mail:
Sagi invested in companies building pornographic websites. He was also eager to seek out those at the forefront of developing software.
In 1999, he invested in a company called Unlimited9, which was involved in setting up pornographic sites. That same year, he launched Playtech in a bid to become the biggest online gambling software developer.
The two men now running the most popular VPN service in the world are thus confirmed to be two Israeli criminals: Ido Erlichman, a professional malware distributor and former IDF captain; and Teddy Sagi, a billionaire online porn pioneer, casino operator and financial criminal internationally hunted by the Russians. These two cybercriminals are now in control of the highest-rated VPN product on the planet, as well as a collection of VPN review websites.
And they are Ben Shapiro's main financial partner.
Such a major change in leadership of a software security company is thoroughly staggering for obvious reasons to begin with, but the fact that several weeks after the startling acquisition ExpressVPN remains featured prominently as the main sponsor on all Daily Wire content, with Ben Shapiro still advertising their product to his audience as an online "privacy" tool, is mindboggling at best and criminally negligent at worst.
Despite the irony that both Daily Wire and ExpressVPN traffic in consumer trust, such developments produce tangible reasons to severely doubt the integrity of either institution going forward.
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