Can TLS prevent my ISP and others from spying on me?

54,840 pts.
Tags:
Internet security
ISP
TLS
Is it possible to use TLS exclusively to secure my email, http servers and desktop client, for everything including email, in/out:80 and web surfing/entertainment browsing? My goal is to prevent my ISP and others from spying on my activity. 
ASKED: November 15, 2013  3:02 AM
UPDATED: November 18, 2013  5:26 PM

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  • Kevin Beaver
    Read up on the latest NSA spying shenanigans and you'll realize nothing is truly private. You're probably just spinning your wheels.
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  • TomLiotta

    Also, it can only help in cases where the remote server supports it. And if a server, e.g., e-mail, is provided by the ISP anyway, then it's probably irrelevant. And even if you use an e-mail server hosted by someone other than your ISP, the hosting service will have access. And if you run your own e-mail server, it's likely going to distribute e-mail to remote servers outside of TLS; not to forget incoming e-mails. And almost no matter what you do, you cannot hide the remote destination addresses. You can't effectively encrypt addressing across the internet; routers need to know addressing in order to route correctly.

    Then, for cases where TLS is effective at all, the question becomes "Which version?" If it's not the latest, then it's only secure as long as no one is deliberately snooping. The majority of servers out there don't make effective use of the latest TLS version, if they support it at all. One reason for that is that many clients don't yet support it; and some of the ones that can, have it disabled by default.

    As far as snooping by your ISP is concerned, your biggest protection is probably the business sense of the provider. It'd be near business suicide to be discovered, outside of something like NSA pressures.

    Tom

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