Encrypt. Delete. Reveal. Resist. These are the basics of a four-point plan aimed at limiting the adverse impact of a Trump presidency on internet freedoms. As the United States and the world prepare for a January administration change, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reminds readers that Donald Trump is the candidate made a lot of assurances to potential voters. Assurances that, if they ever become law, may pose a serious threat to the free and open internet we share today. In a full page ad in Wired magazine this week, the nonpartisan, nonprofit EFF said the following:
“Incoming president Donald Trump made campaign promises that, if carried out, threaten the free web and the rights of millions of people. He (Trump) has praised efforts to undermine digital security, supported mass surveillance and threatened net neutrality. He promised to identify and deport millions of your friends and neighbors, track people based on their religious beliefs and suppress freedom of the press.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation ad in Wired isn’t all bad news. Along with their public statement regarding the potential havoc a Trump administration could wreak on freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the EFF strongly suggests that every person in the technology community start using the web differently and to do so without delay.
Encrypt. The EFF recommends every private web surfer use secure HTTPS connections by default every time they log on. Ensure a secure connection before engaging in any communication, transaction, or other internet activity. At the time of this writing, the EFF offers a free tool designed to make every connection more secure. Dubbed HTTPS Everywhere, the program rewrites web requests seamlessly for most users and is available for Firefox, Opera, and Chrome browsers.
Delete, delete, delete. Don’t expect a mere cache clearing to remove all traces of your internet activity from your computer. Erase your browsing history every day and scrub your logs. The EFF notes that a citizen cannot be forced to surrender information they don’t have.
Reveal. If a government entity censors your free speech or monitors your internet activity with or without your permission, tell everyone you know. Tell people you don’t know. Put the word out on social media, online bulletin boards and other networking sites and let the world know that you’re being monitored by your government.
Interestingly, not all internet entities tell users when a government agency requests access to their personal information. According to a data disclosure report published by the EFF in 2015, Apple, Adobe, WordPress, and Dropbox are among the top companies who tell their customers everything. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr do not disclose government originated content removal requests.
Resist. If you feel your right to free digital speech is in peril, contact the EFF or other tech savvy civil rights defenders without delay. The foundation requests that all inquiries about legal representation be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org and notes that all communication to and from the EFF regarding legal counsel is confidential and shall be treated as such, whether or not the EFF ever provides representation.
We have detailed the practical ways that tech companies can fight for their users in the courtshttps://t.co/4cWCgYWRXI— EFF (@EFF) December 21, 2016
Founded in 1990 by Lotus 1-2-3 developer Mitch Kapor, cyber-libertarian slash Grateful Dead songwriter John Perry Barlow and Usenet creator cum Bootstrap Protocol author John Gilmore, the EFF is an effective advocate of digital civil rights, freedom of expression, and development of new technology. The independent voice of the EFF promotes data encryption, open source software, and file sharing tools in a world of ever-expanding technology.
[Featured Image by Brian A Jackson/ThinkStock/Getty Images]