Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

US Civil Liberties Lawyers Outline Plan To Thwart 'Five Eyes' Mass Surveillance Worldwide

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 27, 2015

2015 01 27 13 04 30

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a digital civil rights defense group based in San Francisco, unveiled a multi-step plan to end mass surveillance of Internet users anywhere in the world.

Rainey Reitman, Activism Director at EFF, wrote:

The National Security Agency—is bound by United States law. That’s good news for Americans. U.S. law and the Constitution protect American citizens and legal residents from warrantless surveillance...

But what about everyone else? What about the 96% of the world’s population who are citizens of other countries, living outside U.S. borders. They don't get a vote in Congress... So what can EFF do to protect the billions of people outside the United States who are victims of the NSA’s spying?

She unveiled a multi-year multi-step plan that includes putting pressure on overseas intelligence agencies that share large amounts of data with the NSA in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, known as "Five Eyes" (including the US) plus shared data with Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and others. 

- The EFF wants people to pressure tech companies to make it harder for the NSA to hack into their systems, and it suspects that some companies have made it easier. She names:

 Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple—as participants in the NSA’s PRISM program... documents indicate that the NSA has access to servers at each of these companies, and implies that these companies are complicit in the surveillance of their users.

She points out that each of these nine tech companies is in a strong position to fight for their users, as Yahoo has done in the courts challenging secret surveillance requests.

- The EFF wants to see a global movement encouraging user-side encryption and has released information in several languages and free tools.

You can read all the other steps to the EFF's ambitious mission to end mass surveillance everywhere, here: EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance 

EFF Projects:

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