Internet activists and rights groups have launched a massive online campaign against mass government surveillance, urging users and websites to use encryption. The campaign’s inspiration – NSA whistleblower Snowden – has called to join ResetTheNet.
A year to the day since the first revelations of the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) warrantless and huge-scale web surveillance were published in the media, the international June-5 campaign for data encryption kicked off.
Hundreds of websites and organizations, including Reddit, Imgur, Mozilla, Greenpeace and Amnesty International are promoting the campaign with a splash screen, which everyone can install on their pages by adding a script.
Meanwhile, thousands of social network users are readying to bombard Twitter, Facebook and Tumbrl with a giant ‘Thunderclap.’ More than 9 million of people are within the reach of the action, and it is hoped some will spread the word further.
Initiated by Fight for the Future, the campaign does not simply aim to raise awareness of the encryption means necessary for secure communication online – it actually provides a detailed list of tips and software for both mobile and desktop operating systems. The listed tools and services do not promise 100 percent immunity against NSA snooping – but they are said to be able to make mass state surveillance difficult and economically not viable.
US internet giant Google, which initially refrained from joining the campaign, has been added to the list of participants, with a note saying that the company will be “releasing email encryption tools and data, and supporting real surveillance reform.”
The former NSA contractor and CIA employee Edward Snowden, who in June 2013 blew the whistle on the relentless US government surveillance at home and abroad, on Wednesday issued a statement in support of the campaign.
“One year ago, we learned that the internet is under surveillance, and our activities are being monitored to create permanent records of our private lives – no matter how innocent or ordinary those lives might be,” Snowden’s statement said.
“Today, we can begin the work of effectively shutting down the collection of our online communications, even if the US Congress fails to do the same. That’s why I’m asking you to join me on June 5th for Reset the Net, when people and companies all over the world will come together to implement the technological solutions that can put an end to the mass surveillance programs of any government. This is the beginning of a moment where we the people begin to protect our universal human rights with the laws of nature rather than the laws of nations,” Snowden added.