Reset the Net.... Have you Heard?

Computer repair store clients have many questions about the government’s and National Security Agency’s (NSA) ability to spy on their Internet habits. Rethink wants you to know that if you are concerned about your privacy, the Reset the Net campaign can help.

Reset the Net’s Solution

Thanks to those who aren’t afraid to speak up, the public learned that NSA uses security weaknesses in the Internet to spy on people around the world. To address this issue, the non-profit group Fight for the Future launched Reset the Net on June 5, 2014, a campaign aimed at stopping mass surveillances with Privacy Pack tools that the public can use on their computers and mobile devices. Reset the Net is also helping website owners add SSL, HSTS and PFS protection to their sites, enhancing the privacy of their visitors.

Reset the Net Participants

Several companies are already on board with the Reset the Net campaign and have added tools to their sites that protect your privacy and security. Some of these companies include:

How to Get Involved

Participating in Reset the Net is simple. You can sign a petition proclaiming your wish for all mass government surveillance to end on the Privacy Pack page. (https://pack.resetthenet.org/)

You can also download the Privacy Pack’s suggested apps to your mobile devices and computers to keep your instant messages, phone calls and location private. These apps include ChatSecure, Cryptocat, Pidgin and Tor.

Portland computer owners with questions about Reset the Net or those who need help installing Privacy Pack apps should never hesitate to contact Rethink Associates.

TerroristBox Live? World of Terrorcraft? NSA Agents posed as players to monitor gaming communities..


No, that is not a sensationalist headline, nor a joke. According to yet more documents released by Edward Snowden, the NSA has been sending real life agents into online RPG's and other games to pose as players to monitor for and root out potential terror threats. Yup. According to The Guardian, Xbox Live was the second biggest service to be targeted. According to James Ball of The Guardian, "The agencies (the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ), the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which boasts more than 48 million players. Real-life agents have been deployed into virtual realms, from those Orc hordes in World of Warcraft to the human avatars of Second Life. There were attempts, too, to recruit potential informants from the games' tech-friendly users." The 2008 documents, titled Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments, describe gaming communities as "target-rich communications network" where intelligence targets could "hide in plain sight". Xbox Live was an obvious choice for the agencies. Of puzzling rationale, the security agencies reasoned that games could yield vast amounts of intelligence, giving agencies a door to commit hacking attacks through. This would give them access to "buddylists and interaction", and to collect target identifiers like profile photos, geolocation, and to collect communications. 

According to the NSA, a key necessity of the program was communications monitoring, because of "the potential for them to be used to communicate anonymously: Second Life was enabling anonymous texts and planning to introduce voice calls, while game noticeboards could, it states, be used to share information on the web addresses of terrorism forums."

Interestingly and not surprising though, the documents show that the surveillance never actually foiled an plots, nor were they able to even establish that ANY terror group had used gaming and virtual communities within to communicate as the intelligence agencies confidently predicted. 

Blizzard Entertainment, makers of World of Warcraft, said that neither security agency had ever asked for it's permission to gather intelligence inside their game, while Microsoft, simply declined to comment.