Groups want to 'reset the 'Net' to resist NSA surveillance

Privacy groups call on Web users to deploy security and encryption tools

Web users and developers should take new steps to avoid surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency and other spy organizations, a group of privacy and digital rights advocates said Monday.

The 30-plus groups, including Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Reddit, Free Press and the Libertarian Party, have set June 5 as the day to "reset the 'Net" by deploying new privacy tools. June 5 is the anniversary of the first news stories about NSA surveillance based on leaks by former agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Governments are building a "prison" around the Internet, the groups said in a video. "But government spies have a weakness," the video said. "They can hack anybody, but 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."

The groups are encouraging Web users and developers to use privacy and security tools HTTPS, a secure version of HTTP, HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), a Web security policy tool, and Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), a public key cryptography tool.

"HTTPS, HSTS, and PFS are powerful tools that make mass spying much more difficult," the groups say on Resetthenet.org. "Until websites 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."

The NSA and the U.S. Department of Justice have defended the surveillance programs, saying they are targeted at terrorists and related crimes and are necessary to protect U.S. security.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentsecurityprivacyinternetfree pressredditU.S. Department of JusticeU.S. National Security AgencyDemand ProgressFight for the FutureEdward SnowdenLibertarian Party

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?