The Day We Fight Back
This post is also available in: French
Today, 11 February 2014, marks The Day We Fight Back, on a date chosen to coincide with the anniversary of Aaron Swartz‘s death and the two-year anniversary of the SOPA blackout which he helped organise. Groups including the EFF, Mozilla, BoingBoing and Reddit will hold a worldwide day of activism against the mass surveillance perpetrated by governmental organisations such as the US’ NSA and the UK’s GCHQ.
One of the groups taking part in this day will be the Pirate Party UK, who in a blog post yesterday called out for their activists and supporters to take to social media and put sharply into view the mass surveillance carried out on behalf of their own Government.
This subject is a particularly contentious one in the UK; in 2013 the (Draft) Communications Data Bill (lovingly dubbed the “Snoopers’ Charter” by its opponents) had promised to bring a debate to the extent of proposed snooping wanted by the state. UK citizens were told this debate had been had, and reason had won the day after support for the bill was withdrawn by the leader of the junior partner of the governing coalition. The subsequent leaks by Edward Snowden in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, however, show that far from this being the death of proposed mass surveillance in the UK, the bill was merely an attempt by British parliament to bring a veneer of legality to the mass surveillance already taking place under such whimsical codenames as “MUSCULAR” and “CHEESY NAME”.
Mass surveillance is, sadly, a reality in the UK and on the worldwide internet. By all protesting on the same day, the hope is to re-ignite the debate which has become stale in the court of public opinion; to bring the fight back to the people and to explain why it is so important.
So how can you help?
- Visit TheDayWeFightBack.org
- Sign up to indicate that you’ll participate and receive updates.
- Sign up to install widgets on websites encouraging its visitors to fight back against surveillance.
- Use the social media tools on the site to announce your participation.
- Develop memes, tools, websites, and do whatever else you can to participate — and encourage others to do the same.
Pirate Party UK have some tweets and images you can use on their blog, but the most important thing you can do is to tweet, post on your social network of choice and to spread the word.
About Ed Geraghty
Ed is the Party Secretary for Pirate Party UK and has been active in the Pirate movement in various roles since 2009. Originally a programmer by trade, he now works as a Commodities Trader in central London.