Turris project awarded for protecting privacy

The Iuridicum Remedium non-governmental organisation, which has handed out Big Brother awards since 2005, announced the winners for 2013 on Thursday, 16 January at Bio Oko. The CZ.NIC’s Turris project took home the award in the Privacy Protection category. The purpose of this activity is to help users protect home networks by means of a special router. The Privacy Protection award is the only category in the Big Brother competition that has a positive meaning.

The jury’s justification for the Big Brother award stated that:

The Turris project prepared and implemented by the CZ.NIC Association does something for which a negative Big Brother award is usually handed out: by means of a household router, it monitors traffic between the public Internet and the specific private network and sends the acquired information to a central location. This project received a positive Big Brother award due to its objective and the manner in which it is achieved.

The aim of the Turris project is not to snoop or monitor activity. Its goal is to protect a specific private network – typically a home network of Internet users – against a wide variety of cybernetic threats and attacks that emerge in the Internet environment and become more dangerous literally hour by hour. For this reason the Turris project needs to monitor in real time which attacks the protected network is regularly exposed to.

The Big Brother competition warns of companies and projects that improperly infringe upon personal privacy, primarily in the area of information technology. Past winners of the Privacy Protection award include journalist and university instructor Jiří Peterka, the European Digital Rights organisation and the PGP encoding program.