As of late, it’s become apparent that specific rights to privacy and freedom of expression are being clamped down on by the world’s intelligence agencies, as they collect data on the public, often without their knowledge. This makes the job of the The Electronic Frontier Foundation, very difficult, as it’s main goal is to champion freedoms and protect the rights of individuals online. With that in mind, it’s begun a campaign to help people protect themselves, by making encryption and secure ways of communicating as easy as possible.
The initiative is called Surveillance Self-Defence and it wants to put the power of protecting the people, in the hands of the people. In a big overview of several categories, the EFF explains the current problems with surveillance around the world, password overuse and insecurity and suggests some tools that can help in all cases.
One of the most obvious pieces of advice is the use of long, complicated and single-use passwords for all sites and services. Remembering them all is a pain, so it recommends password saving software, like KeepassX.
Next on the agenda is circumventing censorship. That can be anything from The Pirate Bay to Wikipedia and Youtube depending on where in the world you are and what your government has decided is untrustworthy. The EFF suggests several options, including forcing HTTPS, utilising web based proxies or going the whole hog and using VPNs and Tor browsers. Each option is broken down and explained in easy to read language, the idea being that this will help further disseminate the information available.
The big topic though is encryption. As well as breaking down just what that entails, the EFF gives links to lots of tools that can be used to enact it. Things like ChatSecure for mobile handsets, using PGP and a number of other messaging content hiding tools that should keep anyone from looking over your shoulder.
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KitGuru Says: At the very least, using some of these software tools will mean that if anyone does decide to look into what you’ve been saying, it will be much harder for them to find anything useful from it.