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View Diary: So You Wanna Use a VPN! (146 comments)

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  •  Well it is true they can see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur

    the amount of traffic to and from your PC and the remote server.

    They cannot see what is being encrypted at either end, so they do not know what you are doing viz a vis browsing, etc.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:45:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not inherently.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg

      But, like I said, they are entirely capable of capturing and inspecting every single packet that you trasmit and receive, regardless of source/destination, or encryption level. They are also capable of decrypting said packets, if they are motivated to put forth the effort to do so. Granted, the effort required to decrypt your traffic is considerable, even for them, so it is not likely that they are actively doing it at any given time. Still, I think it is an important point to make.

      Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

      by Trev2HI on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't they need NSA-level decryption tools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg

        and expertise to do that, which they're unlikely to have since they're unlikely to need them for day to day purposes? Isn't it more likely that if anyone wants to decrypt "questionable" packets, it would be the NSA or some similar agency (depending on the country and nature of the data in question), in which case they would "ask" the ISP or provider for the packets (or a direct feed) and then do the decryption with tools and expertise that they obviously have?

        This is assuming, of course, that one is using high quality encryption, be it on one's own end, on the VPN, or both. But I find it hard to believe that ISPs would have the ability to decrypt such encryption, unless given the ability and mandate to do so by such agencies. And even then, they're probably mostly interested in serious criminal or security-related activity (as defined by each country's authorities, of course, which might not always match many peoples' definition of such), not people trying to view entertainment content they're not authorized to view or which might cause them social embarrassment.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 05:55:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ISP != NSA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, eataTREE
        They are also capable of decrypting said packets
        This is not true.

        --- Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

        by cybersaur on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:52:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybersaur

          I don't think it's true either. I do not believe that Cox Communications has the capacity to decrypt 256 bit cyphers.

          They can cut the link, they can feed the packets to the NSA, they know where I live and they could tell LEOs which servers I connect to ... and that is pretty much that.

          I never tried to argue that a VPN was foolproof security, but it is vastly better than no security at all, and unless you are a terrorist suspect, no one will even attempt to decrypt your traffic.

          If you are using a public wireless connection, a VPN will defeat all casual attempts to intercept your traffic and streal passwords, etc.

          That is my understanding of the practicalities. I'm not too concerned about the theoretical possibility of what folk with too much time on their hands, and access to a supercomputer can do.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:01:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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