bit-tech.net

EFF launches Surveillance Self-Defence

EFF launches Surveillance Self-Defence

The Surveillance Self-Defense [sic] project aims to provide Internet users with the tools and knowledge required to thwart government snooping.

If you're well aware that paranoia isn't a sign that they are not out to get you, check out the latest offering from privacy activists the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

As reported by vnunet.com yesterday, the Foundation has launched a new service dubbed the “Surveillance Self-Defense [sic]” project - a completely free archive of information on topics from everyday encryption utilities to minimising your vulnerability to data mining.

The group describes the project as existing to educate Internet users about ways to protect themselves from nosey governments poking their way into your “computer data and communications.” The information offered as part of the project includes the risks posed by searches and seizures that can be carried out by law enforcement officials, wiretapping of both voice and Internet communications, and information stored by third parties including your internet service provider that can also be used against you by the police.

While much of the data on offer can be used as a precaution against data theft, identity fraud, and sneaky advertising companies, it's interesting to see the tack that the EFF is taking on this one: the Foundation clearly describes the project as offering “practical advice abut how to protect your private data against law enforcement agents” - something said agents probably aren't going to be too happy about.

EFF staffer Peter Eckersley says the project is about users learning to “protect themselves against government surveillance,[i]” and describes the Internet as “[i]a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up all of the private information that you let near it.” While increased privacy in a digital world in a laudable goal, much of the information has as much – if not more – value to on-line criminals as it does to the common man in the street.

Do you believe that increased protection against government surveillance is something to strive toward, or is the EFF simply handing out “how-to” guides for Internet criminals to evade capture? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

5 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Florian 6th March 2009, 13:05 Quote
Educating people about protecting their privacy online isn't a bad thing. The article sounds a bit like the old "having nothing to hide" argument.
Tyrmot 6th March 2009, 13:14 Quote
Daniel Solve wrote an excellent essay regarding the 'Nothing to Hide' argument which you can download from here http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=998565 - it's not overly long and absolutely worth a read.
n3mo 6th March 2009, 17:32 Quote
@Tyrmot
That's a good read, thanks.

Personally I have lots of things to hide and I'm not afraid to say it. I use encryption whenever possible (almost all my HDDs are connected through hardware encrypters that give double 3DES treatment to all my data), most of my network activity is heavily encrypted (if possible), I also use multi-level firewalls and generate "white noise" in network communication.

Most people don't understand that protecting privacy is not equal to being a terrorist. I have a small company that provides specific, highly confidential network services so I need a little paranoia, but other than that I wouldn't like anyone snooping around my data - even if it would be completely usual. Some governments go way too far with surveillance.

If I was a terrorist than I would understand and take into account the fact that every wall can have eyes and acknowledge the government's right to fight me in every possible way. But since I'm not a terrorist, I pay my taxes on time and in full, i do not give them the right to snoop around what I do, unless they can prove anything. Easy as that.

Not that my government is really interested in what I do. Thankfully I live in a country that doesn't care what you do unless you cross a line, so the worst i see here are some marketing companies wanting to know my habits, some script kiddies trying to screw with my arp and sometimes competition stealing my encrypted HDDs.
leexgx 6th March 2009, 20:27 Quote
paranoid ? or very important data :)

must admit i should be encrypting my hdds the amount of TV i have got on there not sure the legality of that (the HD stuff is very likely not legal as thats all US stuff as we do not get HD tv programs in the uk (or first any way) US do norm 3 weeks ahead), as i do not sell or even use p2p apps cant see it been an problem that much

TV/cable stations are missing out on ad supported TV shows thay should of been doing them an long time ago (4-5 yrs) just popup an not so anoying ad Before the start of the show with option to skip say after 5 secs (http://www.joost.com is an good idea works well when thay keep on adding stuff to it)
ZERO <ibis> 7th March 2009, 01:49 Quote
Our government passes laws and it required to tell us what they are so that we can protect ourselves. Knowing how to secure out data from that same government is an exercise of our rights on our private property. As long as our data is constitutionally protected as private property we have a right do defend it from anyone that wants to sue it against us. People have a right to self incrimination this would do well to be extended to our data though effective protection methods.
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums