PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance'

February 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Today is the day that advocacy groups and businesses have designated as a day of protest online against the NSA's unfettered surveillance and data collection practices. Led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the collective are calling on websites and internet users to show their support by displaying special banners online and to contact their elected official in D.C. to let them know that the mass surveillance being conducted by the NSA needs to come to an end.

Thousands of web sites will host banners today urging people to call and email members of Congress to tell them to oppose the FISA Improvements Act (which basically enshrines the NSA's current surveillance practices), support the USA Freedom Act, and to implement "protections for non-Americans." Non-U.S. visitors will be asked to urge agencies and politicians in their own countries to institute better privacy protections.

Web sites looking to get involved and individuals seeking more information about activities today can find out more here.

Update: Google, one of the companies involved in today's protest, sent along this link to help those interested in contacting their representatives in D.C. get started quickly.


Comments

Re: PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass ...

MechaTama31 "Before Congress passed the Patriot Act?"

Yes.

That is what free people do. That is what rational people do. That is what informed people do.

"So, in the immediate aftermath of September 11th?"

Yes.

That is what free people do. That is what rational people do. That is what informed people do.

"We should have mobilized and fought and argued for more restricted surveillance?"

Many of us DID mobilize agasint the heinous portions of the so-called Patriot act that obviously were opposed to liberty.

That is what free people do. That is what rational people do. That is what informed people do.

"When the programs we would mobilize against wouldn't have happened yet and the abuses we would warn against would only be theoretical "what if"s and slippery slopes?"

Wrong. The so-called Patriot act gave far too much power to spy on us. People who chose to be informed knew that at the time.  

"Yeah, that would have gone over swimmingly."

Yes, the far-right authoritarian class would have screamed. So what? 

"The Patriot Act has been awful for us, in so so many ways, but I think we needed to learn that lesson the hard way for it to stick"

People who chose to be informed knew it was awful when it was created and said so. They are on the record. History exists. 

"At any rate, the way things were right after 9/11, there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell of stopping this law."

All it would take is people willing to be informed. All it would take is people willing to care about civil liberties regardless of who is in the White House. But Republicans fail that test, don't they?

"But with any luck, we'll come through this with a stronger appreciation for our right to privacy, and a wariness of giving it up for the illusion of security."

Or we won't, due to the gullible Fox News patsies who abandon civil liberties as soon as another far-right authoritarian Republican gets awarded the White House again. 

 

Whoever dies with the most unplayed Steam games wins!

Re: PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass ...

Well, what "free people do", what "informed people do", what "rational people do", is not what actually happened, is it?  There just aren't enough such people to fight the kind of momentum and support that bill had.  This is real life we're talking about here, not some pie-in-the-sky dream world where everybody carefully considers the pertinent facts and makes reasoned decisions.  The "we" I was referring to is "we" Americans, in aggregate, including all the uninformed, irrational masses.  It's all well and good that some people were informed, some people recognized the danger, and some people spoke out against it.  But it wasn't enough, obviously.  Your entire rant revolves around an ideal of human behavior, when my comment was about the reality.

Of course history exists.  I don't really understand why you felt the need to state something so obvious.  At no point did I say "Nobody spoke up about this", or anything of the sort.  I said the lesson would not have stuck.  It's one thing to hear some guy on a talk show warning of potential abuses if we give government this power.  It's quite another to be confronted with evidence that the government actually has been abusing it, massively.  One can be dismissed as hypothetical, as speculation.  The other is much more difficult to ignore.

"All it would take"?  It's really that simple, is it?  So do it.  Inform people.  Get them to care about civil liberties.  I wish you luck, really I do, but you've got your work cut out for you.  If it was as easy as you suggest, why hasn't it been done yet?  Again, real life vs. dream world.

Please don't pretend that Republicans have sole claim to this kind of hypocrisy.  Both parties are concerned only with their own political gain, and will decry or ignore abuses as they deem politically convenient.  They are not serving our interests, they are playing their game.  You're dreaming if you think otherwise.

Re: PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass ...

You make good points except your last one, where you fall into the trap of false equivalency.  

Republicans do not have sole claim to hypocrisy and abuse of our liberties, but they are the worst offenders by many orders of magnitude. 

In comparing Democrats to Republicans you are comparing litterers to murderers. Both break laws, but one is fundamentally unsafe to our liberties.

Recall that the only real opposition to the Patriot Act was from the Democratic party. That's in the real world.

As long as you falsely equate litterers to murderers, you help perpetuate the problem and you help prevent any solution. 

Which is exactly what the Republicans want you to do. So why are you doing it? 

 

Whoever dies with the most unplayed Steam games wins!

Re: PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass ...

I didn't say they were equal, but they are both failures when it comes to looking out for the people's interests.  62 Democratic Representatives voted against it?  That's nice.  145 voted for it.  Democratic Senators voted for it 49-1.  Even with the Republicans out of the picture, it would have passed with a supermajority of Democrats in the House, and nearly unanimously in the Senate.  Why?  Because it was politically expedient, most likely.  It's either that, or they genuinely believed it was right.  Neither alternative speaks too well of anybody involved.  But when a bill has such broad bipartisan support, laying the blame for it at the feet of just one party makes you sound like a pawn of the other one.

I don't play the game of quibbling over which of the two evils is the lesser, because I don't think that's really the issue.  They're both evil and self-serving.  They are both terrible for the people and toxic to democracy.  I want them both to go away, and to have a political system with multiple parties, not just two who collaborate to prevent any other group from gaining traction.  I guess that's my own dream world, but I refuse to let them convince me that it is a waste of my vote, because that's exactly the attitude they need to suppress any real competition.

As long as you throw your support behind either of the two parties, you help perpetuate the problem and you help prevent any solution.  Which is exactly what both the Republicans and the Democrats want you to do.  So why are you doing it?  :P

Re: PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass ...

The day to fight back against this was BEFORE Bush passed the "Patriot" Act, which opened the door to all this.

How many people squirming over NSA data collection now were enthused to pass the Patriot Act then, despite the ACLU and other warning you about it?

62 Democrats voted against it in the House, but only 3 Republicans voted against it.

Not one Republican voted against it in the Senate. 

Once again, the ACLU is proved right, and the far-right is proved wrong. When will people learn? 

 

Whoever dies with the most unplayed Steam games wins!

Re: PSA: Today is 'The Day We Fight Back Against Mass ...

Before Congress passed the Patriot Act?  So, in the immediate aftermath of September 11th?  We should have mobilized and fought and argued for more restricted surveillance?  When the programs we would mobilize against wouldn't have happened yet and the abuses we would warn against would only be theoretical "what if"s and slippery slopes?  Yeah, that would have gone over swimmingly...  >.>

The Patriot Act has been awful for us, in so so many ways, but I think we needed to learn that lesson the hard way for it to stick (at least I hope it will stick).  At any rate, the way things were right after 9/11, there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell of stopping this law.  But with any luck, we'll come through this with a stronger appreciation for our right to privacy, and a wariness of giving it up for the illusion of security.

 
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