TakeBackTheNet is an event where human rights advocates and transformative technology providers will meet to discuss what civil society organisations and individuals can do to restore trust in communication infrastructure.
The event is being held on the anniversary of the revelations by Edward Snowden that revealed an unprecedented level of mass surveillance of Internet users. Fear of unchecked mass government surveillance is not the only issue at stake though. Increasingly Internet users are concerned about the Faustian bargain they have made with "free" online service providers that barter privacy in exchange for services. There is insufficient transparency about how user data is stored and who it is made available to. As if that weren't enough, most of us now carry around mobile phones which are also the perfect tracking device giving off location and call information wherever we are. We no longer know how much privacy we are giving up. As The Economist recently put it, "we no longer know how to calibrate our paranoia."
TakeBackTheNet comes at a crucial time. The outpouring of concern by citizens over the last year has yet to provoke satisfactory responses from governments or service providers. Part of the answer to this problem is for civil society and tech activists take measures into their own hands by adopting, en masse, tools that are sustainable and liberating.
Yet choosing alternatives can be challenging. How do we know what the critical vulnerabilities exist in our communication behaviour? How do we know how much privacy we are sacrificing to online services? How do we know when we are having a truly private conversation? What sort of standards can we set for our own organisations and for others? TakeBackTheNet will bring together security experts and service providers with civil society and tech activists to address these questions, share solutions, develop strategies, and establish new norms for the future.
TakeBackTheNet event is dedicated to a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. Our code of conduct policy can be found at: http://takebackthenet.apc.org/index.php/TBTN:Code_of_conduct