June 5, 2014. Cyberspace. Today is ‘Reset the Net’ day. And it’s no one-day cyber protest like when the largest internet properties and tech companies in America blacked out their websites to protest government censorship and tech-tyranny. Reset the Net is a nationwide, grassroots effort to thwart the federal government in its obsession with spying on the American people. The campaign is urging all Americans to learn how to encrypt their emails to block them from the spying eyes of Uncle Sam.
Fueled by millions of regular Americans through entities like Wordpress, Mozilla, Reddit, Google and many more, Reset the Net day isn’t just about urging Americans to protect their communications by using encryption. Each of those above sites, as well as others, are including instructions and links where any web user can download free encryption software, protecting their emails from being hacked by the NSA.
Libertarian Party joins the fight
One of the first organizations to announce their support and participation in Reset the Net day was the Libertarian Party. Not mincing words, LP Political Director Carla Howell announced, “The Libertarian Party enthusiastically joins Reset the Net. Over thirty Libertarian candidates running for federal office this year have pledged to shut down the NSA and invite Edward Snowden to return home a free man. He should be granted an immediate presidential pardon, awarded the American Medal of Freedom, and applauded for blowing the whistle on the NSA's abuse of the Constitution."
The Libertarian Party announcement goes on to explain, ‘Today, a coalition of thousands of Internet users, companies and organizations launched a campaign for a day of action to "Reset The Net" on June 5, 2014, the anniversary of the first NSA surveillance story revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Tens of thousands of internet activists, companies and organizations committed to preserving free speech and basic rights on the Internet by taking steps to shutting off the government's mass surveillance capabilities.’
Indy Media onboard
It was fun to see how some of the larger media groups reported on Reset the Net. Just as an example, Newsweek published a story about it and included a link to the website, but didn’t include the video. RT News and Wired.com both happily published a story, included a link and even prominently featured the promotional video. Surprisingly, even corporate outlets like NBC News included the video in their reports.
‘Opponents of mass government surveillance are braced for the June-5 campaign for a free and secure internet, led by some of the world’s largest websites,’ RT News reported, ‘A massive electronic ‘Thunderclap’ is planned for the first anniversary of Snowden’s revelations.’ Not to be outdone, we at Opposition News have also added the video to not just our own home page, but also the home pages of our sister publications Whiteout Press and the Illinois Herald.
Reset The Net
The less-than two-minute video created and distributed by the organizers of Reset the Net (featured above) is as hard-hitting as it is blunt. US government leaders, especially in the nation’s domestic spy apparatus, can’t be happy about this. Upon announcing its support for the campaign, Google confirmed that 70% of all outgoing emails from users’ gmail accounts are already encrypted and protected from NSA spying. But only 48% of incoming emails are protected. And the search giant reminds its email users that both parties, the sender and receiver, must be using encryption for the communication to be protected.
“We use the internet to be ourselves, but governments are building a prison around it,” the video voice-over begins, “We have to stop them. But how? They seem so vast and powerful. But government spies have a weakness. They can hack anybody, but they can’t hack everybody. Folks like the NSA depend on collecting insecure data from tapped fiber. They depend on our mistakes, mistakes we can fix. The plan? Reset the Net.”
Organizers show how each one of us can participate and get involved. The video explains, “The call is simple. Find some territory of the internet that you can protect from prying eyes. Seize it and hold it.” Developers are asked to add NSA-resistant features to their apps. Regular internet users are asked to find and use an NSA-resistant privacy tool. And websites and blogs are asked to display the Reset the Net banner prominently on their home pages today.
“This is our moment to rally, and realize our power,” the video from Reset the Net concludes, “Without needing anyone’s permission, we can decide our future. One that’s safe, open and free. It won’t be easy. But if we work hard now, the internet will never be a prison. Reset the Net. Are you in?”
For more information, visit ResetTheNet.org.
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