Reddit, Imgur Taking Coordinated Action Against NSA Surveillance

Reddit, Imgur Taking Coordinated Action Against NSA Surveillance

NSA

The Reset the Net campaign will see some of the world's largest websites take a stand against mass surveillance on Thursday, June 5.

Websites including Reddit, Imgur and BoingBoing plan to take coordinated action in opposition of NSA surveillance by improving their privacy and displaying splash screens to visitors like virtual protest signs.

Visitors will be encouraged to install privacy and encryption tools, and websites will enable security standards like HTTPS to keep visitors safe from snooping entities. We typically see HTTPS on ecommerce sites, but even websites that don't hold sensitive information like credit card numbers are encouraged to up their security.

"We can take back control of our personal and private data one website, one device, one internet user at a time," said Reddit's General Manager Erik Martin. "We're proud to stand up for our users' rights and help Reset the Net."

Nonprofit organization Fight for the Future is coordinating the campaign. Co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng said, "Now that we know how mass surveillance works, we know how to stop it. That's why people all over the world are going to work together to use encryption everywhere and make it too hard for any government to conduct mass surveillance.

"There are moments in history where people and organisations must choose whether to stand on the side of freedom or tyranny. On June 5th, the internet will show which side it's on."

Powerful words. Powerful, if overly dramatic; but I've always been one to love a good rousing speech. Will you join the fight against tyranny?

Source: Reset the Net, via The Guardian

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Rhykker:
Will you join the fight against tyranny?

*Man on the street mode*

"But Rhykker! I do not run a website! What can I do in this matter?"

Yes, yes I will. I will happily take the encryption advice and follow it to the letter.

Just let me know what to do!

Rhykker:
Powerful, if overly dramatic; but I've always been one to love a good rousing speech. Will you join the fight against tyranny?

Not sure I'd say it's overly dramatic when the government blatantly violating the civil rights of millions is the status quo.

I wonder if this will actually pick up a little. The thing with encryption is it's not perfect, 'they' can and will break it, but it takes an immense amount of time and processing resource compared to a standard unencrypted email. The problem is, who actually uses encryption? Typically it's criminals, people with something to hide, and the odd security buff doing it on principle.

In other words encrypted traffic over the internet is pretty minimal, enough that places like the NSA can isolate it, assume 'these people must have something to hide', and decrypt it. If enough people/websites jump on this bandwagon it would create too much encrypted traffic for them to handle all of it.

Rhykker:
We typically see HTTPS on ecommerce sites, but even websites that don't hold sensitive information like credit card numbers are encouraged to up their security.

Does the Escapist plan on allowing SSL encryption to the site anytime soon? As far as I can tell, it isn't even enabled when we log in to our user accounts, so our passwords are being sent unencrypted.

If the site I go to has the encryption, it has the encryption. If not then it doesn't. That is all that there is to it as far as I am concerned.

I don't see why people are so concerned about the government having their private info. I'm much more worried about the private industries who have it. At least the government isn't trying to exploit it for a profit.

Vivi22:

Not sure I'd say it's overly dramatic when the government blatantly violating the civil rights of millions is the status quo.

More importantly by conducting surveillance of citizens of other nations the US is conducting an act of war, however our governments don't have the guts to stand up to them. If only the world would tell the US to fuck off.

Raziel:
I don't see why people are so concerned about the government having their private info. I'm much more worried about the private industries who have it. At least the government isn't trying to exploit it for a profit.

Especially since most of these people give out a ton of information on social media anyway.

RicoADF:

More importantly by conducting surveillance of citizens of other nations the US is conducting an act of war, however our governments don't have the guts to stand up to them. If only the world would tell the US to fuck off.

You do realize that every government has intelligence agencies right? Remember when the US complained about China spying on them? Because US spies, spying on China found Chinese spies who were spying on the US? Your governments are spying on the US as well, just because they've done a better job at "staying under the radar" doesn't mean it's not happening.

As for needlessly encrypting more traffic on the internet and advertising it? That seems like poking the bear to me.

Nimzabaat:
You do realize that every government has intelligence agencies right? Remember when the US complained about China spying on them? Because US spies, spying on China found Chinese spies who were spying on the US? Your governments are spying on the US as well, just because they've done a better job at "staying under the radar" doesn't mean it's not happening.

As for needlessly encrypting more traffic on the internet and advertising it? That seems like poking the bear to me.

Oh yes every government is spying on each other to try and get an edge, it's the fact the NSA spies on everyone, every civilian, everywhere, that's the issue and shouldn't be accepted. Spying on another government (which is standard procedure), but spying on the citizens of other nations out of paranoia and in breach of their local laws is a different kettle of fish.

The thing is I'd bet that what the NSA learns is shared with its allies which is why no-one is doing anything. The US takes the heat and the rest reap the rewards.

Why not use the Evil Overlord method?

158: I will exchange the labels on my folder of top-secret plans and my folder of family recipes. Imagine the hero's surprise when he decodes the stolen plans and finds instructions for Grandma's Potato Salad.

OK, more seriously now, more often than not it's the "Hey look at me wearing a traffic cone, being drunk and disorderly and making a selfie of it" that will bite you in the ass, not your credit card number. As in, it's the information that people make publicly available themselves, not the dirt gathered on them.

Now, of course I want my privacy respected so if I want to dance naked and drenched in motor oil around a totem I built out of takeout boxes in hopes it will summon the overdeitiy of cheesy snacks, and do it in the privacy of my own home, that's nobody's business but mine.

But for some tinfoil fodder: If you encrypt your stuff using a third-party tool, they can still read it!

So, bottom line is, first and foremost, most protection you can get yourself is in being a bit more selective with what you put out there.

That said, I strongly oppose this kind of surveillance, and even if technically it's not nearly as much threat to my privacy as my own foolishness could be, it's a threat that shouldn't exist at all. I can control my own foolishness myself - but getting rid of the Big Brother will take some more effort.

I'm just not sure if "Let's make it as inconvenient for the watchers as we can" approach is going to help. It's just going to get the budget rebalanced. Keeping consistent public pressure with "We don't like that shit. Quit it." on the powers that be, however, will eventually show results.

Ech, i always get annoyed when i use HTTPS and the website automatically runs back to HTTP. even more so when HTTPS support is turned on but it leaves the site actually broken with some functions not working because apperently they havent coded for people actually using it.

i really would like to see SSL encryption used everywhere, but we know its not going to happen.
that being siad, Escapist, get on making any security on your own?

RicoADF:
Oh yes every government is spying on each other to try and get an edge, it's the fact the NSA spies on everyone, every civilian, everywhere, that's the issue and shouldn't be accepted. Spying on another government (which is standard procedure), but spying on the citizens of other nations out of paranoia and in breach of their local laws is a different kettle of fish.

The thing is I'd bet that what the NSA learns is shared with its allies which is why no-one is doing anything. The US takes the heat and the rest reap the rewards.

I high lighted that part because that's impossible. Do you know how many people it would require to watch 7 billion people 24/7? 7 billion. Unless you seriously believe that the NSA has 7 billion employees that it has managed to keep "off the grid" (ie census). Though that could explain why the US is broke...

It's kind of weird that people believe that intelligence agencies are so very interested in watching them during their day to day when the truth is nowhere near that creepy. (fun fact: A Canadian military installation was outed about 15 years ago because while they were monitoring cell phone traffic in North America, it turned out that people are so boring that the base developed a big drug problem)

Observable Fact: the NSA can find you if you do something illegal in the United States (ie the Boston bombers were located and identified that day) However if they had anywhere near the resources that some people think they had, they would have been able to stop the Boston bombers, that crazy guy in Santa Barbara etc etc. So they obviously don't even have the resources to monitor people on youtube, let alone everyone man, woman and child in the entire world.

 

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