EFF launches Surveillance Self-Defence

March 6, 2009 // 11:42 a.m.

Tags: #big-brother #eff #electronic-frontier-foundation #government #privacy #surveillance #surveillance-self-defense

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.
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