Internet Activists Are Rallying Businesses to Protest NSA Spying: On February 11, a coalition of activist groups, businesses, and website operators will take to the Internet for an international day of protest against the National Security Agency’s methods of surveillance.
More than 3,000 participants, including companies like Reddit, Mozilla, and BoingBoing, have signed up to urge their website visitors to call members of Congress regarding grievances about the NSA’s practices, in what the coalition has dubbed “The Day We Fight Back.”
“Boing Boing is participating in The Day We Fight Back because NSA mass surveillance is illegal, a tool for government corruption and abuse of power, and useless for preventing acts of terrorism,” says Mark Frauenfelder, co-founder of tech and cultre blog Boing Boing. “Most of our elected officials, including the president, aren’t doing anything to stop it, so we need to look for other solutions to the problem.”
David Segal, the executive director of anti-censorship nonprofit Demand Progress and the organizer of The Day We Fight Back, says the event is particularly focused on advancing the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would amend a section of the Patriot Act that allows the NSA to collect telephone data. The bill also would give businesses the ability to release information about data requests they receive from the government.
The group also is intent on defeating the FISA Improvements Act, a Senate bill sponsored by Dianne Feinstein D-CA. According to Feinstein’s website, the act “prohibits the collection of bulk communication records … except under specific procedures and restrictions set forth in the bill.” The proposed legislation has been criticized as a “fake fix” that would perpetuate warrantless NSA surveillance. Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a supporter of NSA’s methods, says the bill will help increase privacy protections, oversight, and transparency.