HappyVPN Shares RT Mitnick Interview

HappyVPN has just shared their notes from an interview with former most wanted US hacker Kevin Mitnick on RT.com. Mitnick recommends the use of a VPN for online privacy and security. He also shared his views on NSA snooping and Edward Snowden. HappyVPN has provided the following summary of Mitnick’s views on online privacy and VPNs.

In his teens, Mitnick was able to intercept a telephone conversation in which one of the callers was from the NSA. This created a hype about his hacking capabilities and sent him on the road to becoming one of the most wanted hackers in the US. Mitnick now works to help companies secure their systems by hacking into them and reporting their vulnerabilities to be fixed.

NSA Code Cracking, Snooping and Snowden

HappyVPN reports that Mitnick explains early in the interview that the NSA needs to have the best code crackers so they can conduct surveillance more fluidly. With the best code crackers in their employ, Mitnick says that the NSA is able to access everything including emails, phone calls and instant messages in the United States and Great Britain. This is because the NSA can intercept all data packets flowing through the backbone of every system. With reports that the NSA has been quite successful at breaking cryptographic codes, Mitnick’s opinion is that the NSA has access to a lot of information. He believes that people really no longer have any privacy in the face of these capabilities.

On the Snowden revelations, Mitnick expressed that these leaks are very damaging to America’s national security. He spoke for the information security world when he explained that they suspected that mass surveillance was being conducted. For it to be revealed and confirmed means that the enemies of the state are aware of how the NSA operates and this means they can adapt to evade detection. Though Mitnick understands the implications for national security, he is still glad that Snowden stepped up to show everyone how the NSA violates the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy. He was not sure however about the value of revealing NSA operations against other countries since this puts the country in danger.


VPN Protection for Data and Communications

HappyVPN was particularly interested in what Mitnick had to say about VPN services. Mitnick admitted that the situation was unnerving because Snowden’s reports indicate that the NSA has partnered with a lot of companies to develop security software like VPNs. Mitnick speculates that the NSA may have intentionally weakened the technology to maintain the ability to intercept data. He says that average Internet users are threatened more by cybercrime than they are about NSA snooping. He recommends that average users connect through a VPN service when surfing, especially in public or in over hotel and restaurant connections. He said that people can’t intercept and spy on data that goes through a VPN, but that in reality, everything can be hacked with enough time, money and resources. Intelligence agencies like the NSA of course have all this.

Mitnick says that hacking has only gotten worse over time, and shows no signs of stopping. He also does not believe that a boycott of products and services from firms sharing information with the NSA would deter the NSA. His observation is that peaceful protests have done nothing to change the behavior of government agencies or companies. What works, he says, is exposing what the government has really been doing.

People can use VPN services to protect themselves, but this will not change the situation. VPNs are good for shielding against data leaks and will probably continue to develop to overcome any attempts to render it moot. So VPNs can continue to protect people from online dangers while we wait for real change to happen to stop violations of privacy and security.

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