Sunday, July 21, 2013

IT pro's must join the fight between regular users and the government

We've learned a lot over the last month about the massive surveillance program run by the United States government through the NSA. We've learned, in effect, that no one is safe. Whether you're an American or not, every single piece of information you send to the Internet is captured and stored and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it.

As IT pro's, we're often called upon to help friends, neighbors, and collegues with their technology problems. This is one of those times. We're being called upon and I think this offers us an unprecedented opportunity to be of service and value to others.

We need to help people protect themselves from surveillance and we need to make it easy for them to do so.

As an IT professional, we are users first line of defense against things like PRISM and other data collection tools. We know how to fight it, we know about encryption, and security, and how the Internet works. Normal users don't. It's our job to teach them.

If you've got the requisite knowledge, I challenge you to get out into your community and do something. Don't just sit by when you hear people complain about the snooping, actively engage them and teach them how to fight it. Set up community training on encryption, proxy use, Tor, and other tools that help protect users. Teach them good security protocol and let them know there is an answer to the question of how to protect their privacy.

You are being called out, my fellow IT pro's. It's time you step up and join the fight. It's time you stop sitting by the sidelines with a smug smile talking about how if people wanted to protect themselves they would. It's time you do your part.

Get involved! Create a movement. DO SOMETHING!

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