Golden Frog attended the Edward Snowden SXSW panel discussion. We pulled some of the most significant quotes from Mr. Snowden and the other panelists.
“End-to-end encryption makes surveillance impossible at the network level.” – Edward Snowden
Snowden’s touting of encryption technologies was a major takeaway for many in the audience. By encrypting all data that you send and receive over the Internet, you are making it more difficult for intensely personal information to be recorded by third parties.
“You have to choose between a service that is easy to use, reliable, and polished or a tool that is highly secure and impossible for the average person to use.” – ACLU technologist Chris Soghoian
We agree. Making security and privacy easy is a huge focus for us. If we are going to defeat Internet surveillance by various governments around the world, and the collection of data by large corporations – privacy companies have to make products that are much easier to use. Furthermore, we have to do a better job of explaining why these services are needed. The attitude of, “I have nothing to hide, so I’m not worried” is flawed on so many levels. If companies can deliver products that don’t intimidate regular consumers this will only help increase security and privacy for everyone.
“There is a policy response that needs to occur. There is also a technical response that needs to occur. It is the development community that can really craft the solutions and make sure we are safe.” – Edward Snowden
Everyone is hoping for legislative reform that better protects data privacy. However, the government typically moves much slower than the technology industry. It’s up to companies and individual consumers to take matters into their own hands instead of waiting for the government to protect them. Consumers need to choose, test and utilize privacy services. It’s time to take the Internet back and find services that protect you.
“It’s not that you can’t collect any data, it’s that you should only collect the data and hold it as long as necessary for the operation.” – Edward Snowden
Consumers want solutions and products that work. Part of delivering an experience that meets their expectations is collecting data to diagnose system or network issues, ensure quality of service and deliver effective customer support. Service providers need to collect the absolute minimum amount of data and then delete it when they no longer need it.
“When we talk about encryption for the average person, and we say TOR, there’s a problem.” – Ben Wizner, Snowden’s attorney.
We agree with Ben Wizer’s response to Snowden saying that TOR was the solution for encrypting network traffic. Yes, TOR is one solution. But, it is unlikely that the average person will use TOR as it complicated to setup and it is SLOW. Users should not have to compromise their user experience in order to gain better security. There are far simpler tools for encryption like a personal VPN to minimize your exposure online and give you a reasonable level of privacy.
“If there is a warrant against you if the NSA is after you they are still going to get you.” – Edward Snowden
There is no such thing as being anonymous on the Internet! Any company that promises anonymity is misleading their customers and is part of the problem – not the solution. But, encryption tools, such as VyprVPN, do greatly increase your privacy on the Internet and makes mass surveillance a difficult and expensive exercise for the government.