Ten Steps You Can Take Right Now Against Internet Surveillance

The EFF issued a quick overview of actions we can take against the NSA spying. It doesn’t mention Free Software but I love the last piece of advice:

Be an ally. If you understand and care enough to have read this far, we need your help. To really challenge the surveillance state, you need to teach others what you’ve learned, and explain to them why it’s important. Install OTR, Tor and other software for worried colleagues, and teach your friends how to use them. Explain to them the impact of the NSA revelations. Ask them to sign up to Stop Watching Us and other campaigns against bulk spying. Run a Tor node, or hold a cryptoparty. They need to stop watching us; and we need to start making it much harder for them to get away with it.

Teach each other. Gain control over your computing through understanding. Teach people around you how to do the same. Knowledge is power! Knowledge is empowering!

For French speakers, read the digital self defense guide, and share it with your friends and grandma. It explains in two hours what I have been trying to understand for two years.

If you think that you are not facing targeted surveillance, it’s the right time to learn how to use crypto and a Free Software operating system! You will screw up, make mistakes and learn from it: better do it when your life isn’t at stake!

I’m for example trying to work at home using Tails (The amnesic incognito system) and OpenBSD as much as possible. I struggle, read a lot of documentation, talk about it and have my friends have a look at what I’m doing. And I’m always wondering about a lot of things. Is that safe? Is this dangerous? I don’t understand the subtle way Tor works! How can I configure my email without disclosing anything? How should I manage the persistence? My passwords!? Security of my keys!? I keep discovering good practices and new tools.

Having to learn all that urgently, under pressure would just have made my mind blow – I probably wouldn’t have been able to cope and give up the activism I would have felt threatened for. Good luck to those in that situation… you have my full moral support…

In short, nothing to hide, everything to learn!

By the way, the next cryptoparty we’ll run in Berlin will be on Nov 8.
Join, teach, learn, share.