Reset the Net Campaign

June 7, 2014
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By Shannon Perry

Fight for the Future, a nonprofit that advocates for digital rights and Internet freedom, is spearheading an anti- National Security Agency protest on June 5th to Reset the Net. Marking the one-year anniversary of the first Edward Snowden report on the NSA, the protest seeks to eradicate the government “prison” around the Internet by making Internet users more protected from “prying eyes”.

In a video arguing against “government spies… and folks like the NSA,” Fight for the Future requests that programmers find and protect a territory of the Internet from prying eyes, that developers add one NSA resistant feature to an application, that content providers run Reset the Net’s splash screen, and that everyday Internet users try one NSA-resistant privacy tool on June 5th . Notable supporters of the initiative include Greenpeace, Google, Reddit, the ACLU, DuckDuckGo, and Amnesty International.

One peculiarity of the campaign is its lack of coverage from many mainstream media sources. As of Tuesday June 3rd, no mention of the mass surveillance protest could be found on the websites of the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, and CNN (among others). Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco certainly has dominated headlines – and the campaign’s flavor certainly isn’t what most would call mainstream. In any event, the protest has not made major headlines in spite of some of the big names behind it.

How the Reset the Net protest will actually manifest itself remains to be seen. Mass surveillance has attracted lots of controversial attention in the last year. It will be interesting to see whether the event will succeed in making any waves on the web.