The Day We Fight Back


Tuesday is the day the Internet protests against mass surveillance.

I’m not mucking about with our page code to display the automated banner, and I’m not doing lengthy polemic. Here’s the information you need if you want to join in.

Here’s the web page that’s being used to coordinate this effort. You can find info and cool things there to add to your blog or social media profiles.

The Day We Fight Back also has a blog. If you want more info, or you’re in the U.S. and you’re inclined to contact you Senator or Congressman, this would be a good place to start.

If you just want to talk about it with some WordPress friends, or help us keep tabs on this issue by dropping us links when you run across them, the Alliance Against Mass Surveillance has four blogs with project pages that you can comment on.  The pages are similar, but each has its own set of links, and they will still be here once this day of action is over. You can also find The Surveillance Index on our sidebar. This is personal page I just created so that I can list everything we write about surveillance on one place. I’ll update it with new information as we receive it.

Note: This was supposed to post at midnight, but I was in a big hurry and hit the Publish button without thinking. I can’t pull it back because links were posted to all my Publicize channels, so, enjoy! 🙂

image: The Day We Fight Back

Surveillance News

I don’t blog news very often, but I’m trying to keep tabs on surveillance-related developments, so I’ll be doing one of these posts every week or so.

The Globe and Mail reported yesterday that a group of hackers and human rights activists are filing a suit in Germany alleging that the Merkel government assisted the NSA and the Britain’s GCHQ in spying on German citizens.

Fresno Bee columnist Rory Appleton has a few things to say about surveillance enabled by mobile apps, and about the state of privacy in general.

The Leather Library has video of former NSA technical director Bill Binney discussing why he decided to blow the whistle.

The Day We Fight Back’s campaign for a day of protest online on Feb. 11 is up to more than 3600 websites.

I’ll have an index page for surveillance-related posts up sometime this week.

Should we blog about this?


I just learned that a large number of advocacy groups and tech organizations are planning a day of online protest against NSA spying for Feb. 11. The sponsors and details are at The Day We Fight Back. We’ve established that we’re willing to blog about surveillance. The reason we have “opinion” in our tagline and “commentary” in our description is because we got so much positive feedback on that post.

Before I announce support for this, though, I want to give my first impression and discuss it. Most of the big sponsors are organizations that I respect and believe to be on the right side of the issue. There are several levels of participation, which is good. You can simply sign up and post some art on your website. You can sign a petition sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others to support an international agreement to place limits on mass surveillance. You can read the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles here. I haven’t read them, but those of you who know me well know I am already blocking off time to analyze the document and decide whether or not post it on Facebook and tag 50 people with it.

There is talk of grassroots lobbying:

If you’re in the US: Thousands of websites will host banners urging people to call/email Congress. Plans may change, but we intend to ask legislators to oppose the FISA Improvements Act, support theUSA Freedom Act, and enact protections for non-Americans.

If you’re not in the US: Visitors will be asked to urge appropriate targets to institute privacy protections.

So, my question to you, followers and friends, comrades and contributors is: Should I make this a priority for the next couple of weeks? Do you care about this? Are you thinking about supporting it yourself? If I write about it, will you read about it?

I need to have a discussion and spend a day going over the details before I start changing profile art and adjusting my editorial schedule. I have a few more remarks after the cut for readers who are following the strategic development of these blogs and for collaborators who are supporting me by sharing on other social media.

Continue reading

Legal Problems and Advances in Technology

— There’s lots to think about here. Even though it’s about legal problems, I think it has some bearing on a couple of conversations we’ve been having lately (especially our discussions of sexist forms of online harassment and of Digital Natives/Digital Immigrants).

Comparative Geeks

Something that I often think about in the technology field is that laws never seem to be able to keep pace with the changes in technology. Often in the news we read about problems arising because either actions taken online or how someone used a new piece of technology. We have had cell phones for how long and only recently has there been laws about talking on the phone or texting while driving. We are continually adding various screens to help us navigate or find resources nearby, but laws start not wanting us looking at screens. How do we deal with more screens in the car or flashier billboards that might be considered distracting?

Then there is the use of online presences and communications. We know how to deal with harassment in person, but what about online. There have been cases where people have been bullied online and we tend…

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