Tuesday, February 11, 2014

'The day we fight back' launches as an anti-NSA protest

"The day we fight back" arrived on Tuesday. Previously announced, thousands of individuals, websites, and organizations joined in an anti-NSA protest, with many of them displaying banners and widgets, such as shown above, via Boing Boing.

The widget continuously updates, and by early afternoon on Tuesday, showed that followers had made more than 55,000 calls and sent nearly 115,000 emails to legislators.

Rainey Reitman, activism director at the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation, which helped organize the event, said:
The goal of the day we fight back is to stop mass surveillance by intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency.

This is a unique political moment in the fight for surveillance reform. The leaks of 2013 shed light on surveillance abuses really unlike anything we had seen before that.

Really it kickstarted an international debate about privacy rights which led to major shifts in public opinion polls as well as international pushes for surveillance reform.
The protest was also an homage to the late Aaron Swartz, and was announced the day before the one-year anniversary of his suicide, which occurred just two days after the prosecution denied his lawyer's second offer of a plea bargain in his MIT "computer breaking and entering" case. The official site said:
In celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA two years ago, and in memory of one of its leaders, Aaron Swartz, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.

Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.
Interestingly, while Google issued a statement on its Public Policy blog, but did not place a banner on its site.

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