It only feels like yesterday that the world and his dog’s website voluntarily blacked themselves out to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills, but while those bits of restrictive legislation are thankfully long gone, new threats have emerged. Today the problem is mass surveillance, with citizens of every country the world over now realising that their privacy online is nothing to many western governments, specifically the US and UK. With that in mind, thousands of websites are going to be posting a protest banner on 11th February to incite all visitors to get in touch with their local politicians and ask them to oppose further and current freedom restricting bills.
Backed by organisations like The EFF, Greenpeace and Amnesty International, the protest already has over 5,000 websites signed up, including huge community driven ones like tumblr, Reddit and imgur. Each of these sites will tomorrow host a banner offering the phone number and email of your local (American) politician and urge you to get in touch to show your displeasure at the FISA Improvements act, which would see the NSA’s powers to collect data expanded and also give any law enforcement agency within the US the right to look at data records of citizens.
“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 behaviour is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight,” reads the Day We Fight Back, website. It also urges everyone to support the USA Freedom Act, which would see the collection of US phone records ended in its current form and would make it much harder for any future organisations to collect data on a mass scale.
If like me though you’re not based in the US, you’ll instead be urged to contact your local politician to protest spying on your country’s citizens. There’s also a lot of other ways you can help out, like linking the Day We Fight Back site on Facebook and Twitter, or posting up one of several specific images to draw people to the main site.
Kitguru Says: I always know the form-like response I’ll get from my local MP. He’ll ignore my points and just tell me that GCHQ and other agencies are important to the security of the nation. Still, it’s worth a shot. At least I might take up a bit of his time.