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Edward Snowden Reveals NSA Movie Piracy Techniques, Part 2
Sep 5, 2013 - 1:30
an image
"A pirate's life
is the life for me."
WEST CHESTER, Pa.–Previously on Postcards from the Pug Bus, Edward Snowden revealed that National Security Agency (NSA) employees who were supposed to be monitoring movie piracy were actually pirating movies themselves, on and off the job.

As Mr. Snowden observed, private citizens do not generally have access to the NSA's kind of mind-fuck computer power; but pirating movies—as well as music, books, and software—is a hobby in which all Americans can share.

In the first installment of the Postcards from the Pug Bus Home Piracy Guide™ (PPBHPG), we explained why people who value their privacy should employ a virtual private network (VPN) when they venture online. The most important reason, for purposes of the present discussion, is this: a VPN will mask your "illicit" downloads and uploads—and your actual IP address, too—so that the content police can't follow you home and rat you out to your internet service provider (ISP). If you share files and you don't want to risk a snide email or worse from your ISP, a VPN is the equivalent of a digital condom that never breaks.

an image
Does not constitute an endorsement or a solicitation of purchase, or does it?
Fortunately there are more than a hundred VPN providers available. That's the unfortunate part also. How do you sort them out? First off, do not rely on free VPN services. They are not all crap, but too many of them are. Stick to pay-for-play companies, most of whom charge less than the cost of an overpriced movie ticket per month for their services.

Recently about.com and BestVPN.com selected the top ten VPN providers, rating them in terms of bandwidth limitations, connection speed and quality, device compatibility, software usability, ease of purchase, cost, OS compatibility, customer support, and location of VPN servers.

an image
Past performance is no guarantee of future performance, but it's the safest way to bet.
We don't have anything intelligent to add to these discussions, other than to suggest that you read them carefully. Two things, however, before we go: don't be put off by VPN services that say things like, "We do not condone the use of our service for illegal purposes." What do you expect them to say? Ahoy, matey?

Finally, it might make sense to sign up for a trial period with a VPN provider so you can check out its performance before committing to a longer term relationship.

Next time, probably tomorrow or the day after, we will discuss where to go shopping for music, movies, and things after you have a VPN up and running.

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