Data spying has become a hot topic in the U.S., ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency’s data mining programs. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and other major technology companies just won the right to release more details about the number of requests they receive for data from government agencies. Now a group of organizations and businesses are uniting in an effort to raise awareness about data spying.
Organizations build website
The ACLU, Greenpeace and other organizations have put together the website TheDayWeFightBack.org, letting everyone know that they’re planning to make a big statement on Feb. 11. That’s the date when we will see a bunch of Internet ads protesting the U.S. government’s data spying programs. It also marks one year and one month after the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life after the U.S. prosecuted him for alleged violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
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According to the site, U.S. Internet users will see banners which urge them to call or email Congress about the data spying issue. The organizations will be urging legislators to oppose the FISA Improvements Act and support the USA Freedom Act. FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the recent transparency information from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and other tech companies covered data requests under that law.
Non-U.S. Internet users “will be asked to urge appropriate targets to institute privacy protections.”
Organizations try to repeat success of SOPA, PIPA protest
The site makes reference to SOPA and PIPA, two pieces of legislation regarding Internet censorship in the U.S. It says that their protest of SOPA and PIPA was “the largest Internet protest in history.” You may remember that protest back in 2012, which shut down many major websites like Wikipedia throughout the world for 24 hours.
The organizers of the website say those interested in participating in the protest can sign up to add a banner to their site on Feb. 11. They also suggest that participants use their social networks to tell others that they will be taking part and join in on the conversation which is taking place on Reddit.
As of this writing, the site said it had nearly 3,700 websites signed up to take part in the protest, including Reddit, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press and others.