EFF Launches Anti-Surveillance Site

Mass surveillance fears on the part of governments against their citizens continues to worry consumers and businesses alike, sparking continued advocacy initiatives around the world. One of the latest is the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s launch of IFightSurveillance.org, a site showcasing digital privacy advocates.

The site includes figures from EFF’s growing list of Counter-Surveillance Success Stories, a set of guides showing how individuals and organizations have taken on state and corporate spying in their own countries.

Translated into 16 languages, IFightSurveillance.org highlights images and quotes from activists, business leaders, lawyers and technologists. For instance, initial profiles include Vladan Sobjer, whose organization, SHARE Defense, helps Serbians learn about encryption; Ron Deibert, whose group, the Citizen Lab, analyzes malware and digital threats to vulnerable groups from Bahrain to Iran; and Anne Roth, whose own surveillance by German law enforcement led her to work for better protections for her fellow citizens.

"Too often, the debate over surveillance is seen as a 'domestic' issue, only of concern to citizens of the country doing the spying," EFF international director Danny O'Brien said in a statement. "The truth is that mass surveillance isn't confined to national borders, and neither is the response to it. Technologists, activists and internet users are all working to fight back against mass surveillance. Wherever you are, whoever you are, there are people close to you working to stop the spying, and you can join them."

The site provides five concrete steps activists can take, including using encryption software and anonymity networks like Tor to shield themselves, supporting a decentralized internet, and signing onto the EFF’s 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, a global framework to protect human rights.

IFightSurveillance.org's companion site, Counter-Surveillance Success Stories, details the work of the global coalition, spotlighting battles for privacy in Zimbabwe as well as countries across North America and Europe.

EFF has really swung into full swing on the internet privacy front since the Edward Snowden revelations of NSA monitoring.

“Privacy is a fundamental human right, and is central to the maintenance of democratic societies,” EFF noted. “It is essential to human dignity and it reinforces other rights, such as freedom of expression and information, and freedom of association, and is recognized under international human rights law. Communications surveillance interferes with the right to privacy among a number of other human rights. As a result, it may only be justified when it is prescribed by law, necessary to achieve a legitimate aim, and proportionate to the aim pursued.”

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