#TheDayWeFightBack: Taking action against mass surveillance

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“This is one useful activity, among many others we’ll need to try. Let’s not allow realism to turn to despair, meanwhile. The stakes are too high.”

Today is the day people around the world take a stand against mass surveillance! The importance of this cannot be stressed enough!

Mass surveillance of the kind that is carried out by the NSA and GCHQ endangers everybody’s civil rights and liberties! It potentially violates domestic laws, international law, the US constitution, and rights enshrined in the International Declaration of Human Rights.

Mass surveillance is potentially dangerous to political dissent. It is dangerous to democracy.

Over the past months, it has emerged that it is not merely about counter-terrorism but about political and economic spying, social control, diplomatic manipulation, power.

It endangers the internet itself as a democratic platform of free speech and expression.

This needs to stop. Surveillance needs to be reined in by the law, it needs to be placed under proper oversight. People who have committed violations need to be held accountable, as do governments.

Today, 11th February, has been named #TheDayWeFightBack. It is to be a day of protest against mass surveillance the world over. It may only be one step amongst many, just “one useful activity… we’ll need to try” but let us not not pass up this opportunity of voicing our dismay at what is being done against us in our name. We need to have a debate about this and for that we need to make ourselves heard.

Edward Snowden leaked a trove of classified documents precisely to that purpose: to let us know about what was going on in secret so that we could speak about it and make an informed choice as to whether or not we want this to continue.

Below are some links to websites, petitions, events that are taking place today. I will keep adding as the day goes on. Have a look, spread the word, and feel free to add you own links by commenting on this post! Take a stand. Fight back.

Official Website: #TheDayWeFightBack – Lists international events. Suggests ways of taking part.

Open Rights Group: Don’t Spy On Us: UK based – calls for “an independent inquiry into UK surveillance to report before the General Election” and “a new law that will fundamentally reform the way GCHQ carries out mass surveillance”. Show your support here.

Stop Watching Us – the Video

Statement on Google Public Policy Blog

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