Somebody is taking action against Internet Surveillance.
On Monday, Edward Snowden spoke to a crowd of thousands at SXSW, and it seriously felt like he was reading our minds.
“The NSA is setting fire to the future of the internet,” Snowden said, “and you guys are the firefighters.” He went on to issue a call to arms for the tech community, saying that “encryption works” as proven by the fact that the U.S. government still has no idea what documents he has provided to journalists.
We’ve been waiting for the right moment to tell you, and we can’t wait any longer. We have a plan to stamp out the NSA’s fire once and for all: On June 5th, 2014 — the anniversary of the first Snowden NSA story — we will Reset the Net, and take our privacy back.
June 5th, 2014: Reset the Net
This is about freedom. When governments steal our data and invade our private lives, they change how we think, how we express ourselves, and how much power they have over us.
Luckily, we’re stronger than they are. On June 5th, websites, organizations, and thousands of people are closing the door on the mass surveillance by resetting the net. Together, we’ll turn off the parts of the web that governments have infected, and bring them back with new armor that directly confronts the spying. We’ll make the Internet ours again, for all of our thoughts and dreams. No one can stop us now.
It’s unclear exactly what is planned. But I see a call to app developers to help out. Watch the Reset the Net website to see how this action develops.
Private Search Engines
One simple thing the average Internet user can do to protest Internet surveillance is to utilize private search engines. Here are two good ones:
Private search engines do not track your search queries. In this way, private search engines protect you from advertiser tracking. Private search engines also provide search results that are unbiased by your previous queries, which is better for research.
Can private search engines protect you from the NSA, if they really have you in their cross-hairs? I suspect not. But aside from the practical benefits of using a private search engine, your actions say “I want Internet privacy.” Using a private search engine may be seen as an act of protest against Internet surveillance.
Can We Escape Dragnet Nation?
I applaud Reset the Net for what they are doing. But it may not be easy.
Watch the Bill Moyers interview of investigative reporter, Julia Angwin, who wrote Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance.
The book chronicles the indiscriminate tracking of our everyday lives — where government and business are stockpiling data about us at an unprecedented pace. Reporters are a prime target for Internet snooping, says Angwin, “Journalists are the canary in the coal mine. We’re the first ones to seriously feel the impact of total surveillance, which means we can’t protect our sources. But what happens next? What happens next is we’re not good watch dogs for democracy. And that’s a very worrisome situation.