Americans are tired of having their every move shadowed and now over 5,000 websites have decided to mark February 11, 2014, as the day to fight back against government spying.
A series of classified documents published in newspapers last year revealed how Obama’s government and the National Security Agency (NSA), through various covert surveillance programs initiated by the Bush administration, collected a massive amount of data at home and abroad.
“The Day We Fight Back”, planned by organizations including Reddit, Mozilla and American Civil Liberties Union, among others, urges internet users to fight for their right to privacy. Webpage owners are directed to put up banners directing visitors to contact legislators while others can post memes on social media.
The protest’s official website states:
“February 11th is the day we fight back against NSA surveillance. In addition to a huge online demonstration, groups around the world are planning events on the local level to protest surveillance abuses.
Hosting a local event is a great way to harness grassroots energy in fighting surveillance abuses. Below are some ideas for local events you can organize. Be sure to let us know your plans so we can include it to our growing of activists and concerned individuals that are joining the fight against mass, illegal government surveillance.”
Although internet-based protests seldom have any significant effect on government policies, there remains one major exception.
On Jan. 18, 2012, over 8,000 websites went dark for 12 hours to protest against a pair of controversial bills introduced in U.S. Congress that would have allowed copyright holders to shut websites down without a trial.
As a result of the online campaigns, both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) were cancelled by the legislators.
As if the revelations exposing mass surveillance weren’t enough, a day before “The Day We Fight Back” a report was released on Monday documenting NSA’s unreliable methods to locate targets for drone strikes in countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.
Filed by journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald, the report gives the account of a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He explains how the NSA, instead of confirming the drone target’s identity, uses the data and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using. Such methods often result in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.
Are you organizing or taking part in “The Day We Fight Back” protest? You can share your answers in the comments section below.