Thousands pledge to join Day We Fight Back protest
More than 4,000 groups have reportedly pledged to join the formal protest planned for tomorrow over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.
The day has been pegged The Day We Fight Back, and is an organized day of protest aimed at convincing Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act. That act would scale back the surveillance powers of the NSA, especially with regard to the bulk collection of U.S. telephone records. The USA Freedom Act bill was introduced in Congress in October in the wake of leaks about the NSA surveillance activities by Edward Snowden.
According to an article at IDG News Service, the USA Freedom Act bill has more than 140 co-sponsors between the various versions of the bill in the House and Senate.
In addition to the support that has been pledged by groups, tens of thousands of individuals have also reportedly pledged to lend their support tomorrow. That will include making telephone calls and posting messages on the web calling for reform of the NSA and surveillance tactics by such agencies.
"In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history," the organizers of tomorrow's protest wrote on TheDayWeFightBack.org. "Today we face another critical threat, one that again undermines the Internet and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.
"In celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA two years ago, and in memory of one of its leaders, Aaron Schwartz, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11. Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action," the organizers wrote. "Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight."
The Day We Fight Back web site displays logos for dozens of organizations and corporations that have already joined the protest. Web sites are being encouraged to display banners calling for a scaling back of NSA surveillance programs.
Among the organizations that have supported the protest day are the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, BoingBoing, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, Free Press, Mozilla, Reddit and Tumblr.
Individuals who wish to support tomorrow's protest are being urged to call or email their members of Congress, and to take to social media. That includes Twitter messages, Facebook posts and other online activity.
IDG News Service noted that "organizers are modeling the protest after one that took place two years ago that helped defeat two online copyright bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act. Ironically, Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, was the lead sponsor of the Protect IP Act and is now the lead sponsor of the USA Freedom Act, the NSA reform bill supported by the protest groups."
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