Internet Architects Plan Counter-Attack On NSA Snooping

Internet Architects Plan Counter-Attack On NSA Snooping

Internet Architects Plan Counter-Attack On NSA Snooping



“Not having encryption on the web today is a matter of life and death,” is how one member of the Internet Engineering Task Force – IETF (the so-called architects of the web) described the current situation. As the FT reports, the IETF have started to fight back against US and UK snooping programs by drawing up an ambitious plan to defend traffic over the world wide web against mass surveillance. The proposal is a system in which all communication between websites and browsers would be shielded by encryption. While the plan is at an early stage, it has the potential to transform a large part of the internet and make it more difficult for governments, companies and criminals to eavesdrop on people as they browse the web. “There has been a complete change in how people perceive the world,” since Snowden exposed the NSA’s massive surveillance efforts, and while “not a silver bullet,” the chief technologist at security firm RSA notes, “anything that improves trust in this digital world is a noble aim.”

 

Via The FT,

Key architects of the internet have started to fight back against US and UK snooping programmes by drawing up an ambitious plan to defend traffic over the world wide web against mass surveillance.

The Internet Engineering Task Force, a body that develops internet standards, has proposed a system in which all communication between websites and browsers would be shielded by encryption.

While the plan is at an early stage, it has the potential to transform a large part of the internet and make it more difficult for governments, companies and criminals to eavesdrop on people as they browse the web.

“There has been a complete change in how people perceive the world” since whistleblower Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of US surveillance programmes earlier this summer,

The IETF push for greater use of encryption comes alongside calls from top internet and privacy groups for fundamental reforms of the laws governing the web. In a letter to the FT published this weekend, top groups including web founder Tim Berners Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation call for a “reform of the status quo” online.

Online privacy is being eroded at a breakneck speed by blanket surveillance, and unless steps to reform are taken immediately, the notion of free and secure online communications will be relegated to the annals of history,” they write. “Blanket government surveillance by default, with laws enforced in secret, will always be unacceptable.”

at its conference in Berlin this month, IETF members reached “nearly unanimous consensus” on the need to build encryption into the heart of the web,

 

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