"They've been inside Cisco for years so this was just the next step."
Are you still suggesting government mandated Lawful Intercept (aka CALEA in the US or EU C 329 in Europe) is somehow a Cisco exclusive issue, as though using other vendors avoids the issue?
I understand that you're paranoid, but paranoid and poorly informed tends to lead to mistakes...
Without specific inside knowledge of the VPN providers, I would assume they are subject to the same Lawful Intercept requirements as conventional ISP's/telco's. You're unlikely (my guess, not a legal opinion...) to get monitored for minor copyright violations, but end up on any watchlists or high profile crimes in your home country and a commercial VPN provider is unlikely to offer any anonymity.
Note: this assumes you are based in a country that has a lawful intercept policy (US/Canada/EU/Australia/NZ/Russia). For China and other countries known to closely monitor Internet traffic, I would expect similar actions. Outside of that, you would need to look into your own specific circumstances.