EFF urges companies to prepare for more surveillance and censorship

The Electronic Frontier Foundation – a group of tech pioneers trying to keep the Internet open and free – have published an open letter to tech companies pleading them to prepare for an era of increased Internet surveillance and censorship. The EFF is citing statements by Trump and his advisors regarding Internet control, net neutrality, and freedom of speech and the press.

They write:

Incoming President Donald Trump and many of his advisors have promised to ratchet up surveillance and censorship, while threatening the future of net neutrality, privacy, and encryption. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on technology companies to unite with us in defending Internet users. By working together, we can ensure that technology created to connect and uplift people worldwide is not conscripted into a tool of oppression.

The EFF ran a full-page ad in Wired asking tech companies to delete unnecessary logs and user data and offering up their 2017 wishlist which includes a request that “Facebook should stop making itself an arbiter of ‘authentic names’ and allow people to use whatever name they want on their account” and that “Twitter should enable end-to-end encrypted direct messages.”

The EFF is also offering detailed talking points for leaders in government.

Although it’s obviously too early to tell where we are headed in terms of Internet freedom it’s important to remain vigilant and ready. Our communications happen online now and the old, out-dated legislation is going to bite us all in the end. While it’s true that if we have done nothing wrong we have nothing to hide it’s still the right of every person to have the choice whether or not to secure their papers, their communications, and the private lives and that choice should be as easy as flipping a switch.