EFF Releases Digital and Security Tips in a Post Roe v Wade America

In light of the leaked US Supreme Court decision, the EFF released tips on managing your digital security.

Earlier this month, we reported on the leaked US Supreme Court’s stunning decision to ideologically overturn Roe v Wade, a landmark decision that ruled on the legality of abortions. The story was completely stunning on a number of levels. For one, something actually leaked from the US Supreme Court which many experts describe as unheard of. For another, this is the US Supreme Court is throwing caselaw out the window and ruling against the constitution by overturning the Roe v Wade decision – an ideological decision that conservative court nominee’s vowed to never do during their respective confirmation hearings.

It’s worth reiterating that, yes, technically, the draft is by no means a final one. So, the decision is not yet final, yet it seems all but inevitable that this is going to happen. In so doing so, it renders the rule of law effectively dead and the rule of ideology is now asserting itself as the supreme decider of the law.

It’s also worth reiterating the fact that such a decision would have implications to human rights that go far beyond simply the right to choose. One needs to look no further than the Texas abortion ban law for that. Essentially, posting comments that could theoretically lead to an abortion online could lead to heavy fines. What’s more is that anyone who knowingly or unknowingly assists in an abortion can also be subject to heavy fines (think Uber and Lyft drivers). What’s more is the question of freedom of movement where some are wondering what happens when a woman leaves her state to get an abortion – what are the legal ramifications of that?

Indeed, many Republican red states have so-called “trigger” laws where once the overturning of Roe v Wade happens, then their own respective laws would take hold at the state level. Numerous sources are already providing maps to showcase which states have trigger laws or what states are likely to ban abortion.

The good news in all of this is that, thanks to the leak, American’s have some forewarning before the backsliding on human rights begins to happen. So, preparations can be made to either protect one self or getting the heck out of those states in question while they still have the chance. US digital rights organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is currently providing tips on how to better protect your personal security when those human rights are taken to the back of the woodshed. For those worried about how their rights will become affected, those tips are worth the read:

Legislation deputizing people to find, sue, and collect damages from anyone who tries to help people seeking abortion care creates serious digital privacy and security risks for those involved in abortion access. Patients, their family members and friends, doctors, nurses, clinic staff, reproductive rights activists, abortion rights counselors and website operators, insurance providers, and even drivers who help take patients to clinics may face grave risks to their privacy and safety. Other legislation that does not depend on deputizing “bounty hunters,” but rather criminalizes abortion, presents even more significant risks.

Those targeted by anti-abortion laws can, if they choose, take steps to better protect their privacy and security. Though there is no one-size-fits-all digital security solution, some likely risks are clear. One set of concerns involves law enforcement and state actors, who may have expensive and sophisticated surveillance technology at their disposal, as well as warrants and subpoenas. Because of this, using non-technical approaches in combination with technical ones may be more effective at protecting yourself. Private actors in states with “bounty laws” may also try to enlist a court’s subpoena power (to seek information associated with your ISP address, for example, or other data that might be collected by the services you use). But it may still be easier to protect yourself from this “private surveillance” using technical approaches. This guide will cover some of each.

Developing risk awareness and a routine of keeping your data private and secure takes practice. Whether the concern is over digital surveillance, like tracking what websites you’ve visited, or attempts to obtain personal communications using the courts, it’s good to begin by thinking at a high level about ways you can improve your overall security and keep your online activities private. Then, as you come to understand the potential scope of risks you may face, you can narrow in on the tools and techniques that are the best fit for your concerns. Here are some high-level tips to help you get started. We recommend pairing them with some specific guides we’ve highlighted here. To be clear, it is virtually impossible to devise a perfect security strategy—but good practices can help.

The article then goes on to detail different techniques to protect one’s self from various Republican police state’s.

In instances like this, it’s worth reminding one self just how unbelievably surreal this all is. Seriously, what the ever living f***? Why the f*** have are we in the place we are at today? A lot of American’s are no doubt wanting to just wake up tomorrow and find out that this was just a horrible nightmare that would never actually really happen. Unfortunately, it is not just a nightmare. This is really happening in the US and things are really this f***ed up. All we can really say to our friends to the south: good luck, you’re probably going to need it in the coming months. As a Canadian, I have no real answers at this point.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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