The Day We Fight Back: Activists Around the World Protest Mass Surveillance

By Kimberlee Morrison 

It’s been two years since the anti-SOPA and PIPA protests, and the associated Internet blackout. With subsequent revelations about government spying, there has been sustained opposition to invasions of online privacy. To commemorate the blackout, as well as the death of Aaron Swartz, more than 5,000 websites will participate in The Day We Fight Back on Tuesday, February 11.

Instead of a blackout this year, participating websites will display a large banner at the top, enabling users to contact their representatives directly through email or with a phone call. VoIP calls from the computer will be powered by Twilio Voice.

Websites including Reddit, Tumblr, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Demand Progress, the ACLU and even internet hate machine 4chan are all teaming up to display banners to encourage users to get involved. The campaign and its organizers encourage users to share statuses, change their profile pictures and post image macro meme-style pictures.

From Denmark, Stolkhom, Costa Rica and Serbia, there are more than a dozen protest events around the world. Cities across the U.S. are holding their own events from protests to street theater. In San Francisco, protesters plan to converge on an AT&T building to project anti-surveillance messages against it, and there will be a talk by former AT&T technician (and whistleblower) Mark Klein.

While SOPA and PIPA may have been defeated, members of congress are still working on bills many activists consider detrimental to the freedom and privacy of Internet users. Key to the protest strategy this year is to fight against the FISA Improvements Act, which according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a “fake fix.” Activists are also advocating in support the USA Freedom Act, a piece of legislation that would bring genuine transparency to America’s spying programs.

Visit to see how you can get involved.