VPN's and the NSA

This is a question for both the forum and Logan and Wendal. I couldn't find it asked before but if it has been call me an idiot and remove my post.

Given the latest set of leaks regarding the NSA and their wonderful and in no way illegal or moraly repugnant data capture it seems that our encrypted sessions on VPN's are being collected and stored until they find a way to decrypt and view them (see link below).

Edit (forgot link): http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/nsas-internet-taps-can-find-systems-to-hack-track-vpns-and-word-docs/

What I want to ask is would it be possible that if enough people start routing all of their traffic through VPN's or other ways of encrypting their traffic the NSA would stop what they are doing or atleast tone down their survailance? Surely they must do as the current policy of just building new data centres must have to become unfeasable once either money or available electricity runs out (most likely electricity as I'm sure the NSA have enough taps into the banks they can just magic up some new money to build Data Centre number 298). Also can hard drive makers produce enough hard drives for the GigaPetaTeraExaSuperMegaExtremeBytes of data that capturing VPN data would require?

Chris from Scotland where we have GCHQ feeding our info to the NSA *sigh*

Governments to stop spying on its citizens.... Won't ever happen.

You could go through as many vpn's as you want, they (NSA, echelon etc)  will still know what your doing if they want to. Either way you are going to have to be reliant on the already laid down infrastructure at some point, unless of course you get together in wireless pods of communities that daisy chain around the globe with heavily encrypted traffic.

At some point some government will most likely manufacture a terrorist event to pass some draconian law that permits anyone from stepping outside 'permitted internet zones or networks'.  Just like what is happening in the UK with the porn issue.

The only real solution I see is to place decent folk in these positions of power that can force transparency upon government agancies. Politicians that take note of the constitution and stand for whats right.

Dee, is very correct on this.

Thought as much, I will still put loads of traffic through the VPN so the NSA can be annoyed when they use loads of computing resources and hard drive space to decrypt my traffic and all they get is me browsing stuff on amazon, checking facebook and reading the news.

I lol'd.

You know that a VPN is absolutely no problem for them? It just means that you have another IP address but if you're logged into facebook they know who you are, if you go on any web page which has a facebook button, they know who you are, if you go on google, they know who you are, if there are adds on the page, they know who you are. They don't have to decrypt anything.

Actually, the one thing they wont know with a VPN is where you are. Because your physical IP is hidden under a Virtual IP address from anywhere in the world depending on the virtual server you connect to especially if this server is routed through an SSL 256-bit encryption box.

Well, if they know who you are, they know where you are. They can connect your phone number with your name and track the phone even if the phone is turned "off".

How are they supposed to track cellular data if the GPS is powered off? Your reasoning doesn't seem very logical.

Triangulation of GSM and UMTS signals. Pretty easy stuff actually.

My point wasn't about hiding from the NSA using VPN's, my point is the NSA are bulk storing data from VPN's the encrypt the traffic so would we see them change tack if they end up storing exabytes of data from VPN's that is completely useless to them like people just reading the news and shopping. Did u read the article i linked to?

I don't think the government could care less about how much waste there is especially when it comes to national security/defense.

Take this for example: http://gizmodo.com/government-destroys-170k-of-hardware-in-absurd-effort-708412225

You're better off trying this. I set up a virtual machine in virtualbox and have it auto connect to a vpn. I do not try to log into any of my existing accounts using this virtualbox. I create a new gmail and a new all around identity. My host machine is still using my social media and email accounts with no torrenting, no porn, no anti-government posts or searches. Unless they have something on virtualbox or my cpu to spy on me, I should be okay.

They cant triangulate squat if the GPS and your wireless antenna are turned off on your phone though. You aren't getting my point. The whole point of having a battery powered device is that if you turn off the device it doesn't stay on. This tin foil hat idea that your cell phone always transmits wireless and gps data obfuscates the entire purpose of the design of saving battery power for your mobile device in an emergency where charging the battery is not an option.

I know that government departments have loads of waste, thats just a fact of life considering its not their money but ours sadly. However there surely has to be an upper limit to how much stuff they can collect in bulk before it gets to a stage in which they need to employ a team of 100,000 people to go through what they found.