Sick and tired of an internet where the National Security Agency may be tracking your every online move? So is an alliance of privacy groups and technology companies, which is proposing that users reclaim their privacy on the Internet.
Privacy on the internet is hard to come by. We can argue over exactly how much information the National Security Agency (NSA) is gathering on each and every one of us, but no one questions that the NSA is doing a fine job of spying on us. A new alliance of privacy groups and technology and media companies, led by Fight for the Future, wants to put a stop to this by using already existing Internet privacy technologies with a popular movement they've named Reset the Net.
Fight for the Future is a non-profit group that's "dedicated to expanding the Internet's transformative power for good. Our goal: To build a grassroots movement to ensure that everyone can access the Internet’s many resources affordably, free of interference or censorship and with full privacy. Our vision: A world where everyone can enjoy the basic freedom to express, create, and connect online."
The other groups behind Reset the Net include Demand Progress, Reddit, the Libertarian Party, and the Free Software Foundation. According to them, governments are turning the Internet into a virtual prison. But, while the NSA and its allies, such as the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) think they can hack anybody, "...they can't hack everybody. Folks like the NSA depend on collecting insecure data from tapped fiber. They depend on our mistakes -- mistakes we can fix."
"HTTPS, HSTS, and PFS are powerful tools that make mass spying much more difficult," the groups said on its site. "Until web sites use them, we're sunk: agencies like the NSA can spy on everything. Once they're ubiquitous, mass surveillance is much harder and more precarious — even if you're the NSA."
Still, the group is encouraging everyone to adopt these technologies as soon as possible. And, to make sure the non-technical public gets the point, they want everyone on June 5th, the anniversary of Edward Snowden's first NSA revelations receiving press attention, to post "“Don't ask for your privacy. Take it back. Today we #ResetTheNet to stop mass spying. Encrypt everything! Learn how: http://thndr.it/1euOUIl" on all social networks."
Reset the Net sounds like a grand idea. How much practical difference it will have remains to be seen.