‘access now’ on surveillance

Together with millions of people all over the world, I will be sitting down to watch the World Cup later tonight. But while I’ll be watching the games with my friends, I’ll be wondering who is watching me?


Around the globe, governments and businesses are tracking us online with unprecedented surveillance. From New Zealand to Belarus, laws and systems are in place that track and monitor everything we do online. Let’s move together and give surveillance a Red Card!

It’s time for users to get off the sidelines, and take simple steps to give surveillance the boot. We can say NO to mass surveillance and data collection. Here are four things you can do today to keep your online activities private and secure from snooping eyes.

1. Secure Browsing: Access recommends using the Tor Browser Bundle which provides access to blocked websites, and prevents others from tracking you online or watching what sites you visit by obscuring your online communications. Tor also prevents websites and others from collecting data on you – most importantly your physical location.

2. Secure Email: The most popular way to encrypt your email communications is using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), most accessible through its open source version, Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG). For help installing GPG, follow Security in a Box’s walkthrough, which covers Windows, Mac OSX, and Gnu/Linux operating systems. They even have instructions on how to install and use GPG on Android.

3. Secure Search: Search data generated by using Google, Yahoo, or Bing are all stored and can be accessed upon request by state authorities. Unlike these search engines, StartPage (also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS) and DuckDuckGo (mobile app for Android and iOS) do not collect personal information on users; they don’t keep a history of your searches, use cookies, or store your IP address.

4. Secure Chat: Jitsi is a cross-platform, free and open-source encrypted instant messaging, voice, and video chat program and is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS,and Linux. It supports many of the most popular instant messenger services, including Facebook, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo! Messenger. For web-based secure video chat, Jitsi Meet is a free and open-source solution for the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Chromium web browsers.

It’s time for an upset! Users need to take back the advantage in order to exercise fundamental freedoms both on and offline. Using these programs to protect yourself, your privacy, and your data online sends a clear message – privacy matters, and mass surveillance will not be tolerated.

Together, towards a future without mass surveillance.
Jon Fox
Global Advocacy Manager


Access defends and extends the digital rights of users at risk around the world. By combining tech-driven policy, user engagement, and direct technical support, we fight for open and secure communications for all. To help protect the internet around the world, you can donate to Access. To reply, please email info@accessnow.org

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