Tech communities like Reddit, Imgur and Boing Boing are teaming up with civil liberties groups in the “Reset The Net” campaign against NSA surveillance. The more than 30 groups are planning a day of protest action on June 5 to mark the anniversary of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA coming to light. The protest is designed along the lines of the protests against the Protect IP Act and Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as PIPA and SOPA.
“Government spies have a weakness: they can hack anybody, but they can’t hack everybody,” the video explaining the campaign, seen below, states. “Folks like the NSA depend on collecting insecure data from tapped fiber. They depend on our mistakes, mistakes we can fix.”
The campaign wants to get software developers to make their products more secure and proof against NSA surveillance. That means using encryption and other security features to encode data and make it much harder if not outright impossible for hackers, government or otherwise, to break through.
“On June 5, the one year anniversary of the Snowden leaks, I will take strong steps to protect my freedom from mass surveillance,” the pledge on the website, that anyone can sign, states. “I expect the services I use to do the same.”
Greenpeace, Code Pink and other not strictly tech groups are taking part because of their own concerns over privacy and NSA activities, with the whole Reset The Net campaign organized by Fight for the Future. How much of an impact this will have, especially relative to the huge effect of the Black-Out Day that effectively shut down large sections of the Internet and helped derail SOPA and PIPA is harder to say.
There’s a lot more ambivalence and uncertainty overall about the NSA’s activities than there was over the corporate attempts to derail Internet freedom for copyright royalties. And while Snowden’s leaks have been a huge part of the conversation over security surveillance and data collection, his actions since then have sometimes caused controversy of their own, especially his current refuge in Russia and apparent friendliness with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
Check out the video below where Reset The Net explains what they hope to achieve and why and get ready for what might be quite the online spectacle on June 5.