February 11 – The Day We Fight Back

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fight back

Tomorrow, Tuesday 11 February 2014, is the day when a wide ranging coalition of human rights organizations, privacy advocacy groups and concerned technology companies (such as BoingBoing and Imgur) are issuing a virtual call to arms, demanding that the US government pull back from its headlong rush toward being an Orwellian surveillance state, drop the heinous FISA Improvements Act, and institute a USA Freedom Act that would instead restore at least some the civil liberties for which the United Sates is justly renowned for, but which have been sorely eroded in recent years.

Although primarily targeting the US government, The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance protest encourages the participation of people everywhere (as what happens in the US affects us all), and will ask them ‘to urge appropriate targets to institute privacy protections.’

Unlike in 2012, when major websites such as Wikipedia, Google and Reddit held a blackout, almost certainly causing congress to back down from ratifying the assault on online privacy that was SOPA, tomorrow’s protest is being seen a small but important step in mobilising public opinion in  favour of protecting online privacy, and most notably in the short term, raising support for the USA Freedom Act.

In what many might see a rather strange twist of fate, this Act’s main sponsor is Republican politician Jim Sensenbrenner, co-author of the Patriot Act, a horrible piece of Bush-era legislation that provides the legal basis for much of the NSA’s work. Sensenbrenner now claims that things have gone too far, and that the intelligence community have misused their powers when collecting US citizens’ telephone data. By introducing the Bill in the House of Representatives he hopes ‘to put [the NSA’s] metadata program out of business.’

At present it is thought that, with over signed up, the Act will do well in the Republican-majority House of Representatives, but that things will be a different matter in the Senate, where the Democrat majority are unwilling to challenge the Obama administration.

If you are interested in becoming involved then signup on the The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance website, and you will sent details on how you can lobby influential key figures in the debate. There is also code available that you can add to your webpage, and details of real-world events that are being organised around the world timed to co-inside with the online event.

Incidentally, those who doubt the efficacy of such online protests might be interested in reading this study, which shows that grassroots advocacy campaigns do have an effect on US government.

Douglas Crawford I am a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and lover of life who enjoys spinning words and sharing knowledge for a living. Find me on Google+

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5 responses to “February 11 – The Day We Fight Back

  1. Hi Doug,
    Sorry for not responding back sooner.
    I did try multiple time, w/t changing name & email address, posting it to the other entry or splitting it into some.
    It worked sometimes but once I failed (and, today, I failed again), it got pretty hard to get the same message through, even though I paraphrased some sentences in it.
    BTW, PIA seems to be having sales and I’m going to miss it, though.)-X

  2. I still have one more part of my comments left (I split Part 3 into two parts because I thought it might be too long to post), which contains what I really wanted to say.
    Can you help me?

  3. #####
    Allow me to continue my comments to this entry( but I can’t post them there for some reason – maybe too long – .
    I also thnik the comments are somehow related to this entry becasue this campaign seems to be inspired by the Passing of Aaron Swartz, according to this(, and I began the comments with the law that killed him.

    -Part 3-

    In my case, I want a paid VPN service to shop/bank online and post comments to blogs/forums without getting blocked,( as well as to get more speed and more countries for IPs to choose).
    However, on second thought, my primary reason to use a VPN service as a whole, regardless of free or paid, is to stay anonymous online and I use a VPN almost at all times while I don’t shop/bank and post online very often

    PIA seems to fit well with all of my needs for my everyday VPN use,and they are the only provider who listened to my concerns about the CFAA and took them seriously.
    Having said that, actually, I don’t need to hide myself online from everyone, but just from criminal, advertisers, (unwanted) friends(C’mon! You can’t expect to hide from determined US agencies at less than 100 bucks or something) and the way they run the services is overprotective to me and I’d rather be off blacklist!
    But, hey, they seem to be OK for most of time and their price are cheap, and so I don’t think I can complain too much about them!

    So, PIA will be my primary VPN service and I’m looking for an dedicated IP (or clean IPs) as just an add-on to it(….I’m hoping PIA has/will come up with some solutions for that, for instance, DNS hacks routing thru some secret severs, unpublished to the public, though).

    BTW, I read somewhere(at Reddit?, maybe,) that PIA’s CMC left the company and their customer support has not been very responsive lately but is it true?
    If so, I’m worried if they would keep their promise to respond to my legal questions, which I was told 6 months ago and which is my biggest Pro to them(Also, it kind of reminded of a bad memory that bluethought left Http-Tunnel had left the company just after I’d signed up for the one year subscription and then it had begun not to function…).

    – Continued –

    1. Hi Ohana,

      It’s true that if the NSA wants to get you then you don’t have a chance, but most us just want to avoid the blanket surveillance dragnet. We have received a number of negative comments regarding PIA customer service recently, although what this signifies I have no idea.

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