NSA Can Spy on VPN Traffic and Other Encrypted Communication

cameraspyPerhaps it doesn’t come as a complete surprise, but the NSA has found a way to listen into several types of secure communication.

ProPublica, The New York Times and The Guardian report that, together with other intelligence agencies, the NSA has cracked several encryption technologies and put backdoors into security software.

The articles specifically mention VPNs, and the SSL and TLS protocols are also compromised allowing the intelligence agencies to monitor Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo traffic.

The reports don’t reveal which algorithms have been compromised and where the supposed backdoors are installed.

From a technical point of view it’s nearly impossible to break the most secure forms of VPN encryption in realtime. That said, older algorithms have been cracked in the past and the NSA never ceases to amaze.

Location technology in cell phones could be helpful when looking for the nearest gas station, but it can also enable others to retrieve information about your whereabouts, legally or illegally. One method of location tracking involves the use of wireless signals to triangulate your position between cell towers. Another method uses the GPS radio on your phone to pinpoint your location. A third method uses the Wi-Fi hot spot to which you’re connected to approximate your current position. If you suspect you’re being tracked using your cell phone, disabling any of these features can help prevent tracking. If you need a new plan for more privacy, check here the circles phone plan.

TorrentFreak has asked the operators of some VPN providers to share their thoughts on the revelations, and we may follow up on this later.

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