Across the US and around the world today, the Day We Fight Back is seeing Americans calling their representatives (almost 50,000 calls as of 3:45 p.m. EST), people all over the world signing a petition, and nearly 6,000 websites asking visitors to take action as part of the first large-scale protest against NSA surveillance.
The day of action, whose organizers hope will have a similar impact to 2012’s Internet Blackout (that successfully halted the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills), is backed by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation. The ultimate goal, aside from making a loud statement against government surveillance? Passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, a bipartisan bill that attempts to address some of the more unpalatable policies of the National Security Agency.
Opposition to NSA surveillance is one of the rare issues that unites Americans of different parties and affected international allies. Will this protest show the power of their voices to bring the NSA into check, or will the NSA remain above the influence of public opinion? Whether you believe that the NSA’s policies protect or hurt those they monitor, the outcome of today’s protests and other expressions of public opposition will have major consequences on the role the US government plays in the lives of Americans and our allies.