Online rights organisation the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has launched a campaign to hold an international day of protest against mass surveillance by governments around the world. In a passionate plea for a global day of action, activists at are encouraging members and non-members to take part in and organise online demonstrations against the kinds of heavy-handed bulk collection of data that US security services have been caught at in the Snowden revelations.
Co-incidentally, 11th February is also the day that South Africa’s first trial of an online pirate goes to court.
//Update – As @dliebo points out, we should probably be clear that this EFF is the Electronic Frontier Foundation does not walk around in red berets, although it does habitually make unlikely alliances with old political rivals (topical satire there). They are not to be confused with Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters*, who are johnny-come-latelies to the name.//
The day of protest is being dubbed TheDayWeFightBack, and is about promoting the 13 Principles which online citizens should be able to expect as part of their human rights. Along with the EFF, TheDayWeFightBack is being co-ordinated by:
- Demand Progress
- Internet Taskforce
- Free Press
We’ll definitely be taking part here. Earlier this week I spoke to EFF’s International Director, Danny O’Brien, about the state of mass surveillance in Africa, and what we can do about it. I’ll publish that interview tomorrow. It’s really good, and will hopefully shed some light on just how widespread surveillance of digital and especially mobile communications is all across Africa.
In the meantime, get yourself over to TheDayWeFightBack and show a bit of SA support for the cause. And if you area organising anything, get in touch with us, please.
*Non-South African readers, this is a newly formed political party which has the entire country mesmerised by its mix of honest-to-god working class popularism and oftentimes bonkers behaviour of its leadership.