The Inquirer-Home

The Day We Fight Back protests internet surveillance

The internet hits back for human rights
Tue Feb 11 2014, 09:28
An eye in close-up superimposted by a screen of random numbers

MANY WEBSITES have united in protest against the heavy hand of the national security police state and its Orwellian culture of universal panopticon communications surveillance.

The Day We Fight Back is a protest held at websites by people all over the world to send one message. The message is "We're mad as hell, and we're not going to take it anymore".

"Mass surveillance of electronic communications is a vast, new, government intrusion on the privacy of innocent people worldwide. It is a violation of International human rights law. Without checks and balances, its use will continue to spread from country to country, corrupting democracies and empowering dictators," the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said today.

"That's why, today, on February 11th, around the world, from Argentina to Uganda, from Colombia to the Philippines, the people of the Internet have united to fight back.With the support of thousands of Net users, we'll use your voice to demand that all governments comply with their obligation to protect privacy against unchecked surveillance."

The EFF is just one of many that have put their names to the campaign. Other parties, firms and organisations, and there are at least 5,000 so far, include Reddit, Boingboing, Tumblr, Tucows, Duckduckgo and Mozilla.

Taking part is a relatively simple affair, but the activity has a lofty vision. It presents a number of principles that advise governments to be more open and more respectful of human rights.

However, "There's more to today's global action than the Principles," added the EFF.

"Hundreds of digital rights and privacy groups, thousands of individual Net users, in dozens of countries, have come together to protest surveillance by governments at home and abroad."

Here in the UK we have the coalition group Don't Spy On Us, which is directing its protests at GCHQ. Its members include Privacy International, Big Brother Watch and the Open Rights Group. Citizens are asked to add their support on its pages. µ


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