Today sees two notable events online: Safer Internet Day and a “fight back” against mass surveillance.
The latter is backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who called it the day “we fight back against mass surveillance”. It said that a broad coalition of organisations, companies and individuals are loudly voicing their stance against unwarranted mass spying. It said that over 6,000 websites have joined together “to demand reform” as it called for reform of Governmental collection of innocent users’ information.
It said: “Over the past few years, we’ve seen the Internet as a political force make waves in Washington. From our defeat of the internet censorship bill SOPA to our battles over CISPA, TPP and patent reform, history has shown that we can activate our networks to beat back legislation that threatens our ability to connect, as well as champion bills that will further our rights online.
“We can win this. We can stop mass spying. With public opinion polls on our side, unprecedented pressure from presidential panels and oversight boards, and millions of people speaking out around the world, we’ve got a chance now to change surveillance policy for good.”
It encouraged citizens in the US to call Congress and support the USA Freedom Act and oppose the FISA Improvements Act.
Today also marks Safer Internet Day, which aims to promote safer use of the internet by children and provides guidance for parents and teachers via its website.
Prime Minister David Cameron, said: “I’m delighted to support Safer Internet Day and the work of the UK Safer Internet Centre. As a father of young children, I know how much parents worry about what their kids can see online.
“Under this Government, we have seen progress, with the introduction of family friendly filters and Google and Microsoft clamping down on child abuse images online. There is nothing more important than protecting our children; Government, industry, charity and parents all have a part to play.”
The day has received support from Ofcom, the Information Commissioner’s office and the British Board of Film Classification among others.
Twitter’s public policy director for EMEA, Sinead McSweeney, said: “We are delighted to be taking part in the initiative, which provides a platform to celebrate digital creativity and to encourage safe and responsible use of technology.
“Throughout the year, we work closely with organisations like the UK Safer Internet Centre and others to promote digital citizenship and better educate users about keeping safe online. As a company we are also investing in technology to create tools that protect users and make it easier to report abuse online.”
Paul Martini, CEO at iboss Network Security, said: “Safety is built on education, boundaries and a watchful eye at home and at school. School websites are inundated with unwanted and unsafe content, but for schools to shut down access to the web would significantly impede learning.
“There must be a new way to making the internet safe for children. It isn’t about blocking access to YouTube or Twitter; it is about making access to Twitter safer.
“There needs to be an advanced security platform with the new web that goes beyond basic web filtering and schools need to take granular control of what students can access whilst within the school grounds. Best practice within schools, should be about “punching holes” within sites so that students can
gain access to only desired and safe content.”