The Day We Fight Back 2/11/14
In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. A year ago this month one of that movement’s leaders, Aaron Swartz, tragically passed away.
Today we face a different threat, one that undermines the Internet, and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.
If Aaron were alive, he’d be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action.
Now, on the eve of the anniversary of Aaron’s passing, and in celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA that he helped make possible, we are announcing a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.
The SOPA and PIPA protests were successful because we all took part, as a community. As Aaron once put it, everybody “made themselves the hero of their own story.” We can set a date, but we need all of you, the users of the Internet, to make it a movement.
A broad coalition of organizations, companies, and individuals are loudlyvoicing their stance against unwarranted mass spying—over 6,000 websites have joined together today to demand reform. Countless users—represented by groups like EFF, Demand Progress, ACLU, PEN, and Access, as well as companies like Google, Twitter, Mozilla, and reddit—demand reform to governmental collection of innocent users’ information.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the Internet as a political force make waves in Washington. From our defeat of the Internet censorship bill SOPA to our battles over CISPA, and the TPP, history has shown that we can activate our networks to beat back legislation that threatens our ability to connect, as well as champion bills that will further our rights online.
We can win this. We can stop mass spying. With public opinion polls on our side, unprecedented pressure from presidential panels and oversight boards, and millions of people speaking out around the world, we’ve got a chance now to change surveillance policy for good.
Last year, we were presented with a new opportunity—an opportunity in the form of leaks that showed us the truth about deeply invasive surveillance programs around the world. This is the year we make good on that opportunity. Let’s ensure that sacrifices made by whistleblowers and risks taken by brave journalists were not done in vain.
If we keep fighting, we will win.
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