VPNs National Security Letters and Non-Americans

So as I understand it...

  1. Under American law, no non-US, person has any rights whatever with regard to privacy.

  2. Any American company or company operating in America can be and often is required by law to provide bulk direct access to foreign communications and any associated domestic communications via national security letters.

  3. By law communication of the existence of the national security letter is a major felony.

  4. The NSA has a mandate and a nation state sized budget to monitor and interpret signals information.

  5. The NSA actively captures data streams including the backbone providers such that in many cases they do store and replay significant components of internet and telecommunications traffic.

  6. PIA is an American company owned by an American with routing and management of its network occurring that crosses the domestic and foreign traffic effectively associating the two together.

Does anyone feel that avoiding your isp to be tracked by a police state is a reasonable trade-off?

Those that say, oh but I use Tor... So you stand up in the middle of a fire fight yelling pick me, pick me while waving a big red flag and blowing off an air horn....

Ubiquitous use of encryption and traffic obfuscation is a solution but in practice the inconvenience to the consumer, the extra effort required by the provider, and the general existence of what could be described as a fascist state globally makes this unlikely.

Actually using these tools can easily identify or associate you with enemies of nation states.

The 5, 9, 14 eyes are no better and often worse than America. States like Syria, Egypt, etc use the same technologies with even less legal or ethical restriction.

At some point one simply has to accept that ones only effective right is to be irrelevant or simply indistinguishable from all the other noise in the machine.

... I'm off to go run TOR over PIA for no good reason at all except to piss into the wind. Mind the mess.


Minor nitpicking, but you mean state-sized budget. Nations don't have budgets, states do.

And the adequation between nation and state is statistically and historically erroneous in pretty much every possible case (the exceptions being extremely small states like Iceland; because the likelyhood of plurinational statehood increases in proportion with territorial size unless it is countered by assimilation campaigns on a massive scale, campaigns which are rarely entirely successful).

Nations are generally demographically smaller than the states they inhabit, with some exceptions being larger than the states they inhabit (diasporas, communities on foreign territory, etc.).

Running the danger of minor derail here, but the US-law is set up to make sure "national secruity" (aka. do whatever state agency wants) is granted at any given time at any given point. Basically mess it up secretly, if someone notices, let the diplomats clean up the hot mess!
Which other country (except britain) would be bold enough to set up an anntenna array on their embassy in berlin to spy on...?

My it-secruity prof put it this way: "Whenever you can avoid using any american service, don´t use an american service! Should there be no way arround using one, do not use it! Find another way!"

Fully agreed. Just because noone is there to tell you it is insecure does not mean it is secure. Plus watching packets enter and leave through compromised nodes is not that hard.

You could just say the US is a police state. Would save on the word count.