The Snowden revelations have confirmed our worst fears about online spying. They show that the NSA and its allies have been building a global surveillance infrastructure to “master the internet” and spy on the world’s communications. These shady groups have undermined basic encryption standards, and riddled the Internet’s backbone with surveillance equipment. They have collected the phone records of hundreds of millions of people none of whom are suspected of any crime. They have swept up the electronic communications of millions of people at home and overseas indiscriminately, exploiting the digital technologies we use to connect and inform. They spy on the population of allies, and share that data with other organizations, all outside the rule of law.
We aren’t going to let the NSA and its allies ruin the Internet. Inspired by the memory of Aaron Swartz, fueled by our victory against SOPA and ACTA, the global digital rights community are uniting to fight back.
On February 11, on the Day We Fight Back, the world will demand an end to mass surveillance in every country, by every state, regardless of boundaries or politics. The SOPA and ACTA protests were successful because we all took part, as a community. As Aaron Swartz put it, everybody "made themselves the hero of their own story." We can set a date, but we need everyone, all the users of the Global Internet, to make this a movement.
Here’s part of our plan (but it’s just the beginning). Last year, before Ed Snowden had spoken to the world, digital rights activists united on 13 Principles. The Principles spelled out just why mass surveillance was a violation of human rights, and gave sympathetic lawmakers and judges a list of fixes they could apply to the lawless Internet spooks. On the day we fight back, we want the world to sign onto those principles. We want politicians to pledge to uphold them. We want the world to see we care.
Here's how you can join the effort:
- Send an email to rights (AT) eff.org confirming your interest in participating in this action and receiving updates. Let us know what you would like to do in your own country so we can send you more information and amplify your voice.
- Visit TheDayWeFightBack.org and Take Action.
- Join your fellow global citizens and, sign the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles here: https://en.necessaryandproportionate.org/take-action/EFF
- Use social media tools to announce your participation.
- Develop memes, tools, websites, and do whatever else you can to encourage others to participate.
- Be creative -- plan your own actions and pledge. Go to the streets. Promote the Principles in your own country. Then, let us know what your plan is, so we can link and re-broadcast your efforts.
The organizers of the Day We Fight Back are:
- Demand Progress
- Internet Taskforce
- Free Press
The organizers of the international action center are:
- Amnesty International USA
- Access (International)
- Anti-vigilancia (Brasil)
- Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (Argentina)
- Asociacion de Internautas - Spain (Spain)
- Asociación Colombiana de Usuarios de Internet (Colombia)
- Bolo Bhi (Pakistan)
- CCC (Germany)
- ContingenteMX (Mexico)
- CIPPIC (Canada)
- Digitale Gesellschaft (Germany)
- Digital Courage (Germany)
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (International)
- Electronic Frontiers Australia (Australia)
- Hiperderecho (Peru)
- ICT Consumers Association of Kenya
- Open Rights Group (UK)
- OpenMedia.org (Canada/International)
- OpenNet Korea (South Korea)
- Panoptykon Foundation (Poland)
- Privacy International (International)
- PEN International (International)
- TEDIC (Paraguay)
- RedPaTodos (Colombia)
- ShareDefense (Balkans)
The Internet’s spies have spent too long listening on our most private thoughts and fears. Now it’s time they really heard us. If you share our anger, share the principles: and fight back.