Today marks the day of a potentially huge breakthrough in the attempt to scale back government surveillance and the laws that deal with the matter. Google has apparently joined up with thousands of activists to stand up and speak out against the use of the Governments Surveillance laws, in an effort to reform them. The participation in the virtual protest is being referred to as “The Day We Fight Back”, which sounds appropriate given the scope of things surrounding Government Surveillance including the NSA data tapping of Google’s servers not too long ago. The effort to organize the campaign was lead by an internet freedom group called “Demand Progress”, whose member number reach as high as 1.5 billion. The activist group released a statement this morning to discuss their position on the matter of Government Surveillance reform, and what they thought about Google joining their efforts to help make some changes in the ways these laws operate.
The practices of Government surveillance both in the U.S. and on a global scale since sometime last summer have been eye opening, and in many are what kickstarted the desire to finally “fight back”. Director David Segal of the Activist group Demand Progress had this to say in regards to taking these laws head on: “We are thrilled that Google is joining activists around the world — more than 20,000 calls have been placed to Congress already this morning — in standing up against the NSA’s intrusion into our privacy. Winning this fight is going to require a broad coalition of individuals, organizations, and businesses, one that is coalescing around today’s activism and will persist until we win the fight against mass suspicion-less surveillance.” While 1.5million members is quite a bit, that doesn’t meant there isn’t a demand for more. Any little bit helps. While Google is one of the bigger supporters of this campaign, they’re joined by other companies and larger organizations that share a similar set of ideals on how Government Surveillance laws should work. Mozilla, the ACLU, BoingBoing, Access, Amnesty International, Fight for The Future, the Freedom Of The Press Foundation, and reddit are just some of the organizations and companies that believe things need a change.
Google elaborates on their personal position with the whole thing on the Google Public Policy Blog, with a blog post titled “It’s Time To Reform Government Surveillance Laws”. They basically believe that the government surveillance programs need to be bound to a set of rules and should operate under a legal framework. They also mention the importance of “program transparency” which is something we’ve heard a little about already, along with the fact that these programs need to be “subject to oversight”. Google along with all their partners continue to press congress to take a hard look at the way these programs currently operate, in an attempt to convince them to adopt the measure and put them in place.