Yesterday was going to be the Day We Fight Back against the online data governments are collecting on us. Modeled after the successful Stop Online Privacy Act protests a few years back, the campaign urged us to call or email our representatives in Congress. The Day We Fight Back also encouraged webmasters to add action banners to their sites to promote the cause for the day. It turns out not many sites did so!
Reports about government surveillance have shown there is a real need for greater disclosure and new limits on how governments collect information. The U.S. government should take this opportunity to lead this reform effort and make things right.
Some sites that were listed as organizers of the event like Tumblr, Mozila and DuckDuckGo did nothing to their homepages to support the campaign! While the protests of activist groups like the ACLU, Amnesty International and Greenpeace were heard loud and clear, even the major technology companies that supposedly supported the movement like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, AOL, Apple, Twitter, Yahoo and LinkedIn also did nothing to their home pages but instead put up a nearly invisible joint website calling for global government surveillance reform.
Stop Watching Us: The Video
By the end of the protests on Tuesday over 70,000 calls and 150,000 emails were sent out to legislators, according to the New York Times. The effort, however, did not sustain significant traction compared to the campaign against SOPA. “Online petitions. The very least you can do, without doing nothing,” said one disgruntled Redditor on the campaign discussion thread. The trouble is, it can be hard to convince a bunch of paranoid Web citizens to sign anything these days given all the privacy concerns.