Reset the Net Goes Viral with a ‘Reset the Net Privacy Pack’

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“Reset the Net” is a ‘take back the net’ grassroots campaign, launched on June 5 as a citizen initiative to tell the NSA, with apologies to the Who, “we’re not gonna take it.” But those who have jumped on board are anything but grass level. Heavyweight companies like Google, Yahoo, and Twitter, and orgs such as the ACLU and the EFF, have all jumped on board. And, of course, Edward Snowden.

Think of it as an effort to NSA-proof your life.

Quoth Snowden (through his attorney), “We have the technology, and adopting encryption is the first effective step that everyone can take to end mass surveillance. That’s why I am excited for Reset the Net — it will mark the moment when we turn political expression into practical action, and protect ourselves on a large scale.”

Organizations that have jumped on the Reset the Net bandwagon:
reset the net participants


Basically the Reset the Net campaign is an effort to get individuals to privacy-protect their computers, their smartphones, and any other device that connects to the net.

Think of it as an effort to NSA-proof your life.

To that end, the Reset the Net “Privacy Pack” is basically a collection of 3rd-party app recommendations that the folks behind Reset the Net encourage you to install that will encrypt or otherwise privacy-protect those devices – at least to some extent.

As they explain on the Reset the Net site:

The problem

The NSA is exploiting weak links in Internet security to spy on the entire world, twisting the Internet we love into something it was never meant to be: a panopticon.

The solution

We can’t stop targeted attacks, but we *can* stop mass surveillance, by building proven security into the everyday Internet.

The plan

First, get hundreds of sites & apps to add proven security (like SSL). Then on June 5, we’ll run a splash screen *everywhere* to spread NSA-resistant privacy tools.”

The apps that they recommend for your phone include ChatSecure (secure chat), TextSecure (secure text messaging), and RedPhone (secure phone calls). For your passwords, they recommend using 2-factor authentication, which of course we have been recommending all along.

For your computer, they recommend secure chat programs such as Adium for Mac, or Pidgin for Windows. And for either, nearly all browsers now have a “private browsing” mode. Use it.

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safari private browsing

firefox private browsing

Ironically, Fight for the Future, the organization behind the Reset the Net effort, squeezes you a few times for your email address before you can get to the “Privacy Pack” part of their site (although you can bypass giving up your email address if you are diligent).

And what is Fight for the Future doing with your email address? Says the Fight for the Future privacy policy:

Fight for the Future is committed to protecting your privacy. If you sign onto one of our various mailing lists, petitions, or use our contact tools, we retain the information you provided to primarily manage our mailing lists, and secondarily to transmit only the information that is required to service providers and public officials when required to submit your communications with them.

We do not sell our email list. We do not share or distribute your contact information unless specifically stated so.

For petitions, open letters, or similar public communications that you’ve signed or completed, we treat your name, city, state, and comments as public information. We will not make your street address publicly available, but we may transmit it to public officials as part of a petition or open letter.

We may have joint campaigns with cooperating organizations and in those cases will explicitly state that we are doing so. In those cases, if your information will be shared with another organization in order to facilitate email delivery, list management, and other stated purposes, we will explicitly make notice on any campaign or website that this organization owns before you submit any of your information. If you are submitting your information to one of these campaigns or websites, you are opting into the sharing of your information for the stated purposes and will be treated as so. We will only share information which you submit at the time of notice and will not share any person’s information obtained from other past or future campaigns, knowingly or on purpose.

If there is a breach of this policy, it will only be done by error, accident, or involuntarily.

Last changed: 05/2013


So, we are moved to ask, just who is watching the watchers?

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Reset the Net Goes Viral with a ‘Reset the Net Privacy Pack’

Get notified of new Internet Patrol articles!

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1 Reply to “Reset the Net Goes Viral with a ‘Reset the Net Privacy Pack’”

  1. Bill Moyers of PBS’s Bill Moyers and Company, and Bill Moyers’ and Company, posted a very witty John Oliver presentation that should be included on June 4. Steve

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