Last week was obviously a huge week for security and privacy geeks across the globe. Whilst for some of us this was simply because it was TNC week (more on that later) for most it was the PRISM story, dropped on the world by the Guardian and the Washington Post. If you have somehow been asleep or not near the Internet or any other news channel for quite sometime, this is the apparent revelation that the National Security Agency has not only the worst powerpoint skills ever known, but also has direct access to, well, everything you have ever done on the interwebs ever.
Whilst twitter explodes in a series of i-told-you-sos and sifting lolcats jokes, what can be practically done in this space rather than locking yourself in a room and praying their isn’t a camera behind that lovely landscape on the wall?
Luckily, TERENA has been doing a lot of work in the areas of privacy and security for sometime, making in an ideal place for you to get your fix. Here are just some of the resources you can use:
- In timely fashion, you might like to watch Robin Wilton’s presentation on the evolution of online privacy at TNC2013. I particularly like Robin’s response to the ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’ question posed at the end of the session.
- Privacy wasn’t news at TNC2013, we were already there in 2012 when Jacob Applebaum presented at TNC2012. on the Tor project. Whilst for some Tor is a controversial as PRISM, the session is a riveting watch (and was even better live).
- REFEDS has been leading the way on anonymous and pseudonymous login for many years. Recent work includes advice to services on user engagement via the discovery guide, the Code of Conduct to encourage good behaviour in data protection terms from service providers and a series of a white papers on data protection issues.
- TF-CSIRT has been providing the community with both closed and open meetings to discuss security incidents since 2000, supported by the successful TRANSITS training series.
- More recently, the Trusted Cloud Drive pilot has been looking at a different model for trusted cloud service delivery than, well, some of those services you may not trust so much right now.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any of these services will keep you out of Room 101, they might provide a welcome antidote to overwhelming feelings of paranoia or vindication.
“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.”