Yesterday, we called the coalition behind "The Day We Fight Back," an initiative protesting mass surveillance, to find out why NSA-friendly tech giants had not signed up alongside Reddit, Tumblr, and other companies for today's event. Just wait, they said.
"We were happy to have the support of the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, and especially Google — which emailed a large list of activists that it accrued over the SOPA fight and endorsed the USA FREEDOM Act — and Twitter, which tweeted to nearly 30 million followers."
["The Day We Fight Back"] was announced on the eve of the anniversary of the tragic passing of activist and technologist Aaron Swartz. The protest is both in his honor and in celebration of the victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago this month, which he helped spur [...]
According to Roy Singham, Chairman of the global technology company ThoughtWorks, where Aaron was working up until the time of his passing: "Aaron showed us that being a technologist in the 21st century means taking action to prevent technology from being turned against the public interest. The time is now for the global tribe of technologists to rise up together and defeat mass surveillance."
It's hard to see how social media slacktivism—like changing your avatar, putting up a website banner, or developing memes, as the press release suggests—will compel these companies to slam the back door on the NSA's foot. But at least they're not spouting the "treason" defense anymore.
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