The Day We Fight Back Against Mass Surveillance

headerOn February 11th 2014, many activist groups, companies, and online platforms will hold a worldwide day of activism in opposition to the NSA’s mass spying regime. Thousands of websites are protesting online but they’re also going to be on the streets.¬†Events are planned in cities worldwide, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Copenhagen, Stockholm and more.

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Swartz protesting against SOPA
(2012 – Photo by D. Sieradski)

“The Day We Fight Back” was announced on the anniversary of the tragic passing of well-known Internet activist Aaron Swartz. He was a computer programmer, writer, and political organizer involved in the development of RSS, the organization of Creative Commons, web.py, Reddit, and his own company, Infogami. In 2011, he was arrest by MIT police after systemically downloading academic journals stolen from JSTOR. After JSTOR and MIT decided NOT to take the case to court, or hold him responsible, US Federal prosecutors took action, charging him with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This resulted in $1 million in fines plus 35 years in prison. After being denied a plea bargain two years later, Swartz was found in his New York apartment, where he took his own life. Continue reading