The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched an information service advising people and businesses on how to keep their data private.
The Surveillance Self-Defense project is a free archive of information on security best practice, and covers a variety of information ranging from everyday encryption to reducing the effects of data mining.
"You can imagine the internet as a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up all of the private information that you let near it. We want to show people the tools they can use to encrypt and anonymise data, protecting themselves against government surveillance," said EFF staff technologist Peter Eckersley.
"Privacy is about mitigating risks and making trade-offs. Every decision you make about whether to save an email, chat online, or search with or sign into Google has privacy implications."
The information covers the legal situation on data privacy and how to protect not only personal data stored on servers and PCs, but data in transmission from capture or snooping.
"Despite a long and troubling history in this country of the government abusing its surveillance powers, most Americans know very little about how the law protects them or how they can take steps to protect themselves against government surveillance," said EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston.
"The Surveillance Self-Defense project offers citizens a legal and technical toolkit with tips on how to defend themselves in case the government attempts to search, seize, subpoena or spy on their most private data."
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