Virtually, a fight against US global spy network

Wednesday, 12 February 2014 - 6:00am IST Updated: Wednesday, 12 February 2014 - 12:44am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

More than one lakh people and over 5,000 companies in 15 countries across the globe protested against the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) mass surveillance on Tuesday, which was called “The Day We Fight Back”. A broad coalition of activist groups, big companies like Reddit, Tumblr and Mozilla and online platforms gathered simultaneously worldwide to oppose the NSA’s mass spying regime. In India, the event took place at Digital Brand Group office, at the Trivandrum IT Park, and in New Delhi.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the protest organisers,  is also bringing people’s attention to its 13 Principles, a document that it says outlines how surveillance can be conducted without impinging on human rights. Thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations, the world got to know that the NSA’s mass spying regime collects 5 billion phone records each day and tracking hundreds of millions of devices.

NSA has used its surveillance capabilities to spy on private companies outside the US, like Petrobras in Brazil and on foreign diplomats in the EU and in India. On Tuesday, people worldwide protested against these practices, saying they violated peoples’ privacy.

The Day We Fight Back event took place on the eve of the death anniversary of technologist Aaron Swartz. The protest was both in his honour and in celebration of the victory the Stop Online Piracy Act, which was supported by Swartz. The bill would have destroyed the Internet by blocking access to sites that allowed for user-generated content — the very thing that makes the Internet so dynamic.

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