One of the most startling revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was the existence of Bullrun, a highly classified NSA project developed to decipher encrypted data. The UK has developed a similar project codenamed Edgehill. According to Snowden and others who monitor the intelligence community, the ultimate goal of these programs is to allow government access to encrypted data transfer on the Internet.
Why does the NSA fear encrypted data and VPNs?
VPNs have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The number of VPN providers has increased steadily since 2012 and more of them appear each day. Even before the appearance of Edward Snowden, large numbers of computer users recognized the need to better protect themselves against the intrusion of anyone trying to spy on their Internet activities. Last year, the most famous hacker in recent memory, Kevin Mitnick, encouraged people to use a VPN for Internet browsing. You can read about him here.
All of this interest and attention in encrypting data with a VPN appears to have made the NSA nervous. It seems that they don’t like the idea of individuals being able to use the Internet anonymously. Why would this be the case, especially when the US is considered to be a bastion of personal freedom?
The answer may rest in increased discontent among American citizens over US policies that are perceived to limit freedom and protect government interests. In recent years, the Occupy Wall Street movement and similar protests have seen an unprecedented rise in dissatisfaction with US political leaders. Bullrun may be a troubling sign that the US is taking a page from the playbook of other countries that have made efforts to limit or restrict Internet freedom.
A civil war against Internet freedom?
It is very interesting to consider the name Bullrun and how the NSA chose it as the name for their decryption program. The name comes from the Battle of Bull Run, the first major battle of the American Civil War. Likewise, the UK’s Edgehill comes from the Battle of Edgehill, the first battle in England’s civil war. What does this say about how these governments perceive their attempts to decrypt Internet traffic?
It seems as though both the US and UK realize that attempts to restrict Internet freedom is nothing less than a war on their own citizens. It is also clear that these programs were not developed for the purposes of combatting other governments, but are instead an effort to silence domestic discontent.
The VPN response
It didn’t take long for VPN providers and other Internet companies to respond to Snowden’s revelations about Bullrun. Many of them have taken measures to increase the size of their encryption keys. Also, the vulnerability of VPN providers that used the Open SSL platform was exposed by the recent Heartbleed virus, a bug some think was actually created by the NSA.
VPNaccounts.com offers a level of VPN service that offers the best protection from Bullrun and other attempts at spying on Internet traffic. Why? Because we do not depend on the Open SSL protocol for encryption. We also offer multiple VPN servers, and we work to inform our customers about the most effective ways to use VPN technology. Additionally, we keep no logs of your Internet traffic. All of these things combined continue to make us one of the most reliable VPN providers, click here to buy.
It is unlikely that Bullrun will defeat using a VPN in the immediate future because of all of the backlash created by Snowden and his revelations. The NSA will likely lay low for the time being until the domestic furor over privacy invasion subsides.
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