Policy & Law
Now Reading
Flagger Lets You Give The NSA A Big Middle Finger

Flagger Lets You Give The NSA A Big Middle Finger

by Brad MerrillNovember 13, 2013

Jeff Lyon‘s Flagger app is an online civil protest against the NSA and the surveillance state they’ve formed. “The idea is to flood the Internet with red flag keywords to get the NSA’s attention,” Lyon tells me, “but instead of terrorist activity, they’re getting thousands of pissed off citizens giving them the middle finger.”

Via a Chrome extension, Flagger “automatically puts red flag keywords (like bomb, Taliban and anthrax) into the web addresses you visit.”

I love this. It’s great to see entrepreneurs standing up for our rights, especially since the big companies won’t.

Brothers Jeff and Andrew Lyon at the Stop Watching Us rally

Brothers Jeff and Andrew Lyon at the Stop Watching Us rally

“We’re part of a growing movement within the tech industry to take back the Internet from government surveillance, censorship and corporate control,” says Lyon.

If you want to support the cause, you can install the extension from Flagger’s website.

Flagger’s Settings page allows you to choose specific tags that you want to include in your URLs by either browsing a list of popular red flags or adding your own. Then, once you’ve gotten their attention, you have the option to include a personalized message to the NSA.

After enabling the extension, you’ll notice that every website you visit has red flags (and your message) automatically appended to the URL. While this has no effect on the website you’re visiting, the NSA equipment that monitors and tracks all Internet activity will surely notice the sudden increase in terror-related URL keywords.

The app has gotten mixed responses so far. On one side of the table are people who support the civil protest, while others think it’s taking free speech a bit too far.

What are your thoughts?

Check out Flagger here.

About The Author
Brad Merrill
Brad Merrill is the founder and former editor of VentureBreak.