The EFF is a great defender of Civil Liberties in the digital world. Established in 1990, the EFF champions free expression, privacy and security, innovation, technological development, and ongoing innovation.
The EFF boasts a global network of stakeholders, including policymakers, grassroots activists, and tech experts. This donor-funded organization seeks to tackle all the hard issues head on, and has enlisted the assistance of leading tech companies.
Facebook now finds itself in the crosshairs of EFF activism. Zuckerberg, a self-anointed internet deity has made sweeping proposals to regulators. Among his many calls to action is the implementation of standardized approaches to dealing with harmful online content.
Chief among these proposals are the prohibition of hate speech, rules of engagement in online communities, and the establishment of internet policing authorities to monitor online content. This harmful content often straddles the line between free speech and speech that should be censured. This ambiguous domain presents challenges to the authorities.
The reason d'être for the creation of the internet was to facilitate access to a global market of individuals, ideas, and opportunities. Censure of any kind runs contrary to the grain. Any clampdown on free speech is a violation of the First Amendment in the US, and similar inalienable rights apply to people in other countries too.
Barring the establishment of impartial judicial authorities, the EFF and other organizations believe that policing agreements between the tech giants of the world will not suffice in this regard.
What is the EFF Planning?
The EFF remains concerned that tech giants like Facebook and Twitter are engaging in practices that are deemed unsafe and risky. For example, Twitter continues to allow unencrypted direct messaging and Facebook utilizes users’ telephone numbers for reasons other than two-factor authentication.
Owing to these and related concerns, the EFF has launched a campaign known as #FixItAlready to bring all of these privacy and security matters to the fore. Since many of the tech titans of the world are ostensibly neglecting these security and privacy concerns, the EFF is seeking out feasible fixes for users.
Facebook is but one of nine companies highlighted in the initiative, the others include Android, Apple, Slack, Twitter, Venmo, Verizon, WhatsApp, and Microsoft. Each of these companies shares three characteristics: they are well-known, have feasible and achievable fixes, and corrections will have a major impact on activity.
Several privacy and security issues need to be addressed with each of these companies, notably:
- WhatsApp must receive consent before a user is added to a group
- Slack must give unpaid account holders full control over data retention
- Apple must allow users to encrypt their iCloud backups
The EFF believes that multiple companies are guilty of serious security and privacy failures, including Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. iCloud security is sorely lacking and encryption will go a long way towards protecting data. Microsoft requires disk encryption keys for its Windows 10 operating system, and Facebook is being urged to cease and desist from improperly using its users’ phone numbers.
ExpressVPN weighs in on Security Flaws
ExpressVPN, a leading advocate of greater security, privacy, and anonymity online, has joined the chorus of activists advocating for increased privacy, security, and accountability.
ExpressVPN supports fully encrypted backups to safeguard the integrity of personal data and multimedia content. ExpressVPN is prepared to stand with Facebook if Facebook stands with its users to review its role as a responsible steward of privacy and security.
The #FixItAlready movement is already having an impact on the industry, since proponents of remedying privacy and security flaws are making companies who sit idly by looking bad. For example, the consent feature for WhatsApp is already in beta.
Competitors who fail to implement similar privacy and security features are likely to fall by the wayside. While nobody expects a global exodus from Facebook, the onus is upon individuals to enhance their safety, security, privacy, and anonymity online. ExpressVPN provides precisely these tools to bolster greater online security.
Advocates are encouraged to read an accurate ExpressVPN review to understand how this virtual private network can safeguard online browsing activity with greater security and anonymity features by allowing traffic to pass through an "encrypted tunnel" between the user's device and the VPN server.
Where to next for #FixItAlready?
When lapses in privacy take place, opportunities exist to rectify these systems to enhance data integrity and tighten security protocols for users. The movement itself is geared towards amplifying the messages of individual users to ensure that greater privacy and security will result.
The #FixItAlready advocates understand that it's no simple feat to right the wrongs of these tech companies, but by bringing it to the public's attention proactive steps are being taken to deal with these issues head-on.
ExpressVPN and other EFF-affiliated organizations have made inroads with many companies but the work is far from over.
The #FixItAlready movement makes no mention of Google, yet activists are calling for all major tech companies to get on board and work towards compliance with greater online privacy and security considerations.
You too can get involved in the Fix It Already movement by simply tweeting or posting with the #FixItAlready hashtag. What has your experience with security and privacy considerations been with Facebook, Google, Slack, Twitter, Venmo and others? Feel free to share your thoughts with our community.