Should you bother to VPN with the NSA listening?

Yes.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so.   Google does.   Google had already planned to encrypt the data going between its data centers and is now accelerating efforts.   Even if the NSA or others are out there a VPN is still your best route to protection:

  • It takes a super computer to defeat it.   The NSA has many and they are fast, but will your traffic merit run time?   Especially if there is a lot of it?   Has OpenVPN been cracked?   The speculation is that PPTP was cracked, which is notoriously insecure.
  • If you use HTTPS inside a VPN they have to crack it twice.
  • You’re preventing your data from getting easily swept up as diverted switch traffic
  • You’re still protected against hackers, crackers and less sophisticated governments

This should not be a complete surprise.   It has been theoretically possible to crack strong encryption with very powerful computers.   The only difference is we now know (or think we know) that it has happened.   It doesn’t change the equation since its still very hard.   If the NSA wants you they’ll get you — either through brute force man-in-the-middle attacks, getting you on the back end by conspiring with your provider or on the front end by putting a key logger on your computer.

For the rest of us that aren’t specific targets of surveillance let’s not make it easy — Let’s keep some privacy.

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