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The guys that fight governments that spy on you

3. Switzerland

www.eff.org/pages/switzerland-network-testing-tool

Some ISPs have been known to interfere with their customer's connections, trying to restrict the use of certain technologies such as BitTorrent. Switzerland lets you test the integrity of connections between two machines on the internet, alerting you if IP data packets have been modified along the way.

4. TOSBack

www.tosback.org

Who reads website terms-of-service agreements? They're usually thousands of words long and full of incomprehensible legal babble designed to make lawyers feel good about themselves. This website, albeit currently undergoing a major revamp, shows you when major online services change their TOS agreements, highlighting the exact parts that could affect you. So if you hear that Facebook is changing its TOS, for instance, but you don't want to wade through the whole text looking for the differences, this site can help.

The (best/worst) is yet to come...

What are the biggest threats going forward? Rebecca Jeschke is the EFF's media relations director, and also a digital rights analyst for the foundation. We caught up with her to see what the future holds…

LXF: What, in your opinion, do we need to be concerned about in the next few years?

RJ: One big thing to watch over the next couple of years is the US government's extensive attempts to grab for big data. We already know the NSA (National Security Agency) is collecting massive amounts of internet activity data through new spying facilities and there are calls to make everything that is online more easily wiretapped by the authorities.

And the US government doesn't need to do all the collecting itself - you only have to look at the law enforcement support for CISPA, a bill that would grant companies more power to obtain 'threat' information (such as from the private communications of users) and to disclose that data to the government without a warrant - including sending data to the National Security Agency.

Needless to say, while these are US practices they will still affect people all over the world.

LXF: And how about with companies?

RJ: Third parties like Facebook and Twitter know so much about us already - and they'll only know more soon. It's really important to protect this information from indiscriminate collection and use. We're not saying that law enforcement shouldn't get access to it, but the government should have to get a warrant in most cases and have the collection supervised by a judge.

People who don't want their lives to be an open book should make sure their lawmakers know where they stand. We've had a strong push-back about CISPA in the US, and we believe that's one reason it may have stalled in the Senate for now.

Now why not read Data privacy: how safe is your data in the cloud?