Providers of virtual private networks in foreign countries aren't subject to the requirements of the Patriot Act, making them potentially able to elude surveillance by the National Security Agency and other U.S. intelligence agencies, experts say. Still, it's difficult to completely avoid the NSA, those experts add. A country that works in cooperation with the U.S. could be made to provide data on an individual, and VPNs can be hacked just like any other platform. "I don't know whether NSA can break the VPN encryption, but I certainly know that NSA, or whoever, can hack the company providing the VPN," said Gartner's Anton Chuvakin.
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