The Privacy Pack

The Reset the Net privacy pack will be a selection of software and tips tailored to common computers, phones, and tablets that literally anyone can use.

Our goal is to accommodate literally everyone, and offer bonus tools and instructions for more technical users. Since the tools will be pretty much universal, it should be easy for people to share the privacy packs with friends.

It’ll provide tools and tips for iPhone, Android, Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux, and everything will be free software.

Here’s what we’re offering…

  • Adium & Pidgin for private (OTR) chat over Gtalk, Facebook, Yahoo, MSN, XMPP / Duck Duck Go and others.
  • Textsecure and Redphone for Android and iPhone (we hope), for private SMS and voice calls.
  • HTTPS Everywhere for browsers
  • GPGtools and Enigmail (as a bonus for more sophisticated users)
  • Tor (as a bonus for sophisticated users or those with anonymity needs)
  • Tips on how to enable full disk encryption on your computers, phones, and tablets, for easy, strong protection in extreme situations. 

We decided to only offer free software tools in the privacy packs because they make it easy for outsiders to verify (and improve) their security, and because the freedom they give users helps advance the state of the art. Given how the US government induced once private tools like Skype to add backdoors, we feel that’s important. It also narrows the choices a lot to ensure we aren’t seen as playing favorites.

(One important note on the inclusion of Pidgin, Adium, and OTR: if you believe you may be the specific target of surveillance, these aren’t the tools for you. Pidgin has had a large number of remotely exploitable vulnerabilites
recently, and auditors looking at the code believe there are likely to be many more. Still, these tools are effective against passive mass surveillance, and they’re unusually easy to use.)

On June 5th, we’re asking sites, apps, organizations, and everyone to promote the privacy packs to everybody you can reach. Getting serious about popularizing secure tools is one of our best weapons against mass surveillance. We’ll be making a splash screen with code you can add to your site.

Can your site or app promote the privacy pack on June 5th? Sign up here.

If you have any thoughts on how to improve the privacy pack, be in touch.(Though be aware that we don’t have a lot of flexibility here. We need tools that a broad community of experts can get behind.)