The Day We Fight Back
February 11, 2014 12:01 PM   Subscribe

The Day We Fight Back is a protest against mass surveillance. "The SOPA and PIPA protests were successful because we all took part, as a community. As Aaron Swartz put it, everybody "made themselves the hero of their own story." We can set a date, but we need all of you, the users of the Internet, to make it a movement.

NSA previously on Metafilter
There's a MetaTalk with more links as well including a news article.
posted by aniola (32 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
The Day We Fight Back website & banners are REALLY COOL. You give them your phone number. They call you. You give them your zip. They connect you to your senator's office. You read a blurb. Then when the conversation is over, you hit asterisk, and they connect you to your next senator's office. You talk to that senator's office, hit asterisk, and then you get connected to your congressional representative.

I did the phone calls because after doing the email my reps, there was a note telling me that 100x as many people emailed as called, and wouldn't that make calling 100x more effective
posted by aniola at 12:10 PM on February 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Also apparently if you're not in the USA you see a different banner.
posted by aniola at 12:17 PM on February 11, 2014

And we're sure this isn't just a way for the NSA to gather the phone numbers and email addresses of dissidents?
posted by uosuaq at 12:21 PM on February 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Over on, apparently it's Safer Internet Day. No mention of anything on Wikipedia. Or Facebook. Or Yahoo.

I guess the general opinion from the bigwigs there must be that SOPA was worse than a mass surveillance state, and if there's anything that's going to be done about the later, then it's going to have to be pure grassroots.
posted by weston at 12:30 PM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Great anti-mass-surveillance puzzle game (flash). Don't leave the panopticon, carry it with you!
posted by anthill at 12:36 PM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, not even a doodle from Google.

Also doesn't use HTTPS and the front page makes 600+ external requests according to Disconnect. Privacy FAIL.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:45 PM on February 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

And we're sure this isn't just a way for the NSA to gather the phone numbers and email addresses of dissidents?

The NSA already knows the names and phone numbers and everything else about dissidents, comrade.

This is a way for even stupider people to gain the same information - just by asking for it.
posted by three blind mice at 12:51 PM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

First the people ignore surveillance,
then they laugh at surveillance,
then they fight surveillance, <== You are here.
then surveillance wins.

Or at least, that's what I am afraid will happen.
posted by fings at 1:02 PM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

And we're sure this isn't just a way for the NSA to gather the phone numbers and email addresses of dissidents?

That was my first thought.

The NSA already knows the names and phone numbers and everything else about dissidents, comrade.

They already know all of our names and phone numbers, but they don't know which ones of us are dissidents until we say or do something. This could get you on a list you weren't on before.
posted by desjardins at 1:15 PM on February 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

IIRC Aaron Swartz ended up dead, didn't he?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:57 PM on February 11, 2014

If nobody was willing to publicly oppose the NSA for fear of ending up on a list, we would have already lost. I'm glad that doesn't seem to be the case yet.
posted by teraflop at 2:59 PM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

There is a mass protest because everyone is on the list. Innocent people are already suffering from the false safety provided by data mining and illegal evidence gathering:
Following the March 11, 2004 attacks, Mayfield was concerned for the safety of his children and wife, and according to his father, he suspected that he was under surveillance by the federal authorities. In the weeks before his arrest, Mayfield's family was under the impression that their house had been broken into at least twice, although nothing was stolen. According to court documents, the FBI used National Security Letters in order to wiretap his phones, bug his house, and search his house several times.

Fingerprints on a bag containing detonating devices, found by Spanish authorities following the Madrid commuter train bombings, were initially identified by the FBI as belonging to Mayfield ("100% verified"). According to the court documents in judge Ann Aiken's decision, this information was largely "fabricated and concocted by the FBI and DOJ". When the FBI finally sent Mayfield's fingerprints to the Spanish authorities, they contested the matching of the fingerprints from Brandon Mayfield to the ones associated with the Madrid bombing. Further, the Spanish authorities informed the FBI they had other suspects in the case, Moroccan immigrants not linked to anyone in the USA. The FBI completely disregarded all of the information from the Spanish authorities, and proceeded to spy on Mayfield and his family further.
The FBI arrested Mayfield at his offices in West Slope, an unincorporated suburb of Portland. The arrest was similar to the then-recent Mike Hawash case, under a material witness warrant rather than under charge; he was held with no access to family and limited access, if any, to legal counsel. The FBI initially refused to inform either Mayfield or his family why he was being detained or where he was being held.
Later, the FBI leaked the nature of the charges to the local media and the family learned of the charges by watching the local news. He was at first held at a Multnomah County jail under a false name; he was later transferred to an unidentified location. His family protested that Mayfield had no connection with the bombings, nor had he been off the continent in over 11 to 14 years.
On September 26, 2007, two provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act were declared unconstitutional. Finding in Mayfield's favor, Judge Aiken ruled that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as amended by the Patriot Act, "now permits the executive branch of government to conduct surveillance and searches of American citizens without satisfying the probable cause requirements of the Fourth Amendment," which violates the Constitution of the United States. The Federal government appealed that ruling, and Mayfield's attorney, Elden Rosenthal, argued in front of the Ninth Circuit court on February 5, 2009. The ruling was overturned in December 2009 on the ground that the Court found the plaintiff, Mayfield, not to have standing.
Not only is this evidence that our government only bothers to pretend to give a damn about the Constitution, but that the courts are subject to political pressure when enough damage gets done by holding up the Constitution.

What this means for you is that going to the wrong website, or contacting the wrong people, can put you on the radar of the most inept and powerful intelligence agencies on the planet. It's not a good combination.
posted by deanklear at 3:26 PM on February 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

then they fight surveillance

Judging by Mefi we are at....

then they laugh at people that are trying to fight surveillance
posted by philipy at 4:32 PM on February 11, 2014

I'm a little blown away by what seems to be genuine concern about ending up on "a" list. If you give a shit about this at all I hope you're on one already. Make some noise even if it's Internet noise. A list of all people who GAF and have Internet access should be so staggeringly long as to be useless.
posted by lordaych at 4:54 PM on February 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

I hope you'll pardon me if I have an issue with a privacy campaign based on handing out personal information to an unknown website. No doubt they're legit in this case, but it seems like the wrong type of behavior to encourage when there are other ways to get people in touch with their representatives. The NSA isn't the *only* problem out there.
posted by uosuaq at 5:49 PM on February 11, 2014

genuine concern about ending up on "a" list

I had assumed it was humor rather than genuine concern.

However it's true that while I'm happy to put a banner on my blog, I'm choosy about what lists I add my personal details to. Not because of the NSA, I'm just not keen on a proliferation of my personal info on the net in general.

On a humorous level....

I would like to think there is a list of people that seem to be afraid of being put on lists.

Also for completeness, there could be a list of people that don't seem to give a damn about being put on lists. After all that could a double bluff.

No doubt that's why they need to put everyone on a list, since we're all in one or other of these highly suspicious categories.
posted by philipy at 6:24 PM on February 11, 2014

My original comment, like most of my comments, was just flippant humor.

However, here's what I'm willing to type into a website's text box in order to to get a list of representatives to contact: my ZIP code.

I'm happy to be on "a" list if it actually means something, but otherwise...not so much.
posted by uosuaq at 6:44 PM on February 11, 2014

then they fight surveillance, <== You are here.
then surveillance wins.

I notice that we still have nuclear weapons, also. Doesn't defeatism suck?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:02 PM on February 11, 2014

As was mentioned on the MetaTalk, more advanced warning than just today might have been nice.

I also have to nth the "aren't I going to end up on a list of death here" risk factor for this one, though.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:27 PM on February 11, 2014

Is the NSA placing all you 'internet pundits' on dissident lists? Absolutely, probably the moment you make an interesting comment anywhere public.

Would they inform other agencies if they found you involved in large drug deals or major tax fraud? Maybe, but they cannot do this too systematically or we'd notice.

Are they placing you on the "harass at airports" list any time soon? Not if we fight back now, support congressmen that fight back, etc. Laura Poitras achieved that only by making films Bush didn't like. Jacob Appelbaum only by providing technical advice to wikileaks.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:41 AM on February 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

And we're sure this isn't just a way for the NSA to gather the phone numbers and email addresses of dissidents?

If you are afraid of government then that is all the reason you need to become a dissident.

Hopefully, at age 49, I am well-noted as a criticizer of government and any practice which is contrary to freedom, liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness, et al. If not, then I have not been doing my job as a citizen. How I learned democracy works is through participation. For better or worse, I took it to heart.

Can I be intimidated? Oh sure. Absolutely. In fact, I suppose I'm the perfect person for it—as are most of my friends and family. We are the sort of people who make decent neighbors and supportive communities. "When they came for the Socialists/gays/Muslims/ethnic group...", well, most of the people I know tend to be the ones who raise a ruckus.

And by ruckus, I mean long-term, dedicated, determined resistance to oppression.

See, it's really easy. Someone or some group becomes bully-like and starts putting someone or some other group down. And while you don't want to be the one who stands up, and while your natural instinct says shy away or be afraid, you know from experience that that way leads to tyranny—of person or people or community or spirit—and so you stand up. Not because its something you necessarily want to do but what the heck, it's the right thing to do.

Like Basil King so brilliantly phrased it, "Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid." Speaking as a natural born wuss and something of a coward and fraidy cat, nonetheless I can say with quiet certainty, "Why, it's true!"

Another turn of phrase which I have found to particularly encouraging, "illegitimi non carborundum," ie "don't let the bastards get you down".

And still another that empowers me in time of need is Dylan Thomas' stanza, "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

At the end of the day, it's all a game or show, anyhow. What we have to show for it is the love we put into the performance. So let them put your name on their list. I just hope beside "dissident" checkmark on mine, next to it in bold in reads, "ASSHOLE".

PS And yes I got the email from Google that allowed me to call my congressional representatives. It worked great. After I told them I oppose NSA surveillance and the FISA Improvements Act. "Anything else," they asked. "Yes," I told them, "Keep up the good work. Don't let the bastards get you down."
posted by Mike Mongo at 9:37 AM on February 12, 2014

"Online petitions - the very least you can do, without doing nothing."

Sounds like it was a bit of a wash. :(
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:47 PM on February 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

A weird thing now occurring on Twitter: Tweets with links to are getting blocked, and the links from old ones now instead show a warning of 'The site you were trying to visit may be unsafe!' -- including the link posted by Twitter's own @policy account.
posted by Anything at 1:55 AM on February 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Greg_Ace, buried in the 6th paragraph for whatever reason: By late Tuesday, some 70,000 calls had been placed to legislators and roughly 150,000 people had sent their representatives an email.
posted by Anything at 2:20 AM on February 13, 2014

The links from Twitter are working fine on my browser...?
posted by aniola at 4:48 PM on February 13, 2014

aniola: Yeah, they seem to work now.
posted by Anything at 7:29 PM on February 13, 2014

Can Privacy Be Saved?
posted by homunculus at 2:42 PM on February 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

"The SOPA and PIPA protests were successful"

The spirit of SOPA endured: Obama Nominates Former SOPA Lobbyist to Help Lead TPP Negotiations
posted by homunculus at 11:00 PM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

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