call +44 20 7096 1079
June 10, 2014 | Pam Cowburn

Don't Spy on Us: Day of Action, June 7, 2014

On Saturday, June 7, the Don't Spy on Us campaign and The Guardian hosted a day of action to mark the anniversary of Edward Snowden's revelations about mass surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ. ORG is a founding partner in the Don't Spy on Us coalition, which also includes Article 19, Big Brother Watch, English PEN, Liberty and Privacy International.

Sponsored by F-Secure, the sell-out conference at Shoreditch Town Hall, London, was the biggest privacy event of the year.

The day began with a pre-recorded video message of support by performer Stephen Fry, who criticised the government for using the fear of terrorism as a "duplicitous and deeply wrong means of excusing something as base as spying on the citizens of your own country". Next up was ORG co-founder Cory Doctorow, who suggested that increasing our own personal security online would increase the cost of spying to the extent that it would force the security agencies to become more targeted. In a later session, he also suggested that we need, “privacy for the weak, transparency for the strong”.

Other speakers included Guardian Editor, Alan Rusbridger and the journalist Ewen MacAskill, who gave incredible accounts of how the Snowden story broke – revealing that the New York Times had effectively created an 'embassy' for The Guardian in its New York offices to ensure that the British newspaper was protected by the US constitution.

This was a day of action, not just words, and there were a number of breakout sessions that looked at practical ways that the Don't Spy on Us campaign can persuade the public, government and media to do something about mass surveillance. Tim Duffy, CEO of M&C Saatchi, identified two reasons for public apathy over surveillance – many people are not aware of it and if they are, the fear of terrorism beats the fear of having their privacy invaded. Duffy made a number of suggestions for how the campaign can overcome these problems, including disclaimers on emails and apps.

In a separate session, Claude Moraes MEP, lawyer Mark Stephens, Cambridge University's Ross Anderson and Emam Carr from Big Brother Watch listened to participants' suggestions for new legislation that will protect our rights to privacy and freedom of expression. Meanwhile at a cryptoparty, volunteers (including a number of ORG supporters), showed attendees how to encrypt their emails.

The event ended on an upbeat note with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales reminding the crowd about effective collective action over SOPA and urging them not to feel powerless: "We know how to change the world. Let's start doing it." Shami Chakrabarti of Liberty said that if the courts, private business and people start to care, then politicians will start to care about mass surveillance. Security expert Bruce Schneier agreed that the solution will be political, saying that “laws can trump technology".

ORG Executive Director, Jim Killock closed the day by asking people to not only sign and share the Don't Spy On Us petition but also contact their MPs.

One year on, the government response to the Snowden revelations has been inadequate but with an election due next year, politicians are more sensitive to what the electorate wants. With your support, we can make sure they listen to what we are saying.

For more on the event, check out #Don'tSpyOnUs, which trended on Twitter all day on Saturday. You can also read blogs by Professor Ian Brown, Damian Gayle and Falling down the Orwell or see some of the press coverage in The Observer, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Times (£), The Daily Dot and Channel 4.


Waiting for opening speakers at #dontspyonus by Dave Levy CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


 Proposed pro-privacy street ad by Cory Doctorow CC BY_NC-SA 2.0




google plusdeliciousdiggfacebookgooglelinkedinstumbleupontwitteremail

Comments (2)

  1. Neal:
    Jun 11, 2014 at 08:02 AM

    Excellent day, will there be videos of the sessions uploaded?

    Slight error I'm the post, Emma Carr from big brother watch replaced Barbara in the discussion on new legislation.


  2. wang:
    Jun 29, 2014 at 01:08 PM

    argentina will rely heavily on lionel messi despite star

    The imports of fabricated steel, higher aussie dollar and the domestic cost increases to business like power prices, carbon tax etc have been affecting the competitiveness of local fabricators, but it has been happening for some time now and was clear on the horizon. I feel the same pain as Mr Clarke and his business. The playing field in this industry has changed significantly over the past decade. Change happens, in all aspects of life. If we recognize that we can adapt to survive with the change. There is still plenty of cheese available, you just need to go out and look in different places for it.

    A line up looking for another draw I'm afraid. I know OG likes only 1 up front but we are over half way through the season and this formation has hardly seen us get a glut of goals. Why won't he try two strikers in a game? Play with two recognised strikers for 4 or 5 games and if it doesn't work then go back to 4 5 1. Why is he afraid to try? Only 6 teams in the Championship have scored fewer than us please Oscar, Coach handbags outlet break the habit of a lifetime.

    No, but doesn matter, UGA has an opportunity now regardless. South Carolina has beat UGA three straight years, if UGA wins the NC what title should be given to South Carolina. Champion of the ChampionOverrated. That is what UGA is. I look at the standings and I know UGA could not beat Alabama. They could not beat and have not in a long time beat South Carolina. They beat Florida but I doubt they could do it tw actually, UF is getting worse and worse every week that goes by. Maybe UF should be dropped from top 15? Anyways, FSU? No way, FSU wins. A Youth nfl jerseys Hello Johnny Football, easy win. LSU? LSU wins. Oregon? Oregon scores 50 by half. Stanford? Stanford wins close.

    A sliver of hope was provided Friday, when Mexico managed a 2 2 tie against Nigeria in a tune up in Houston despite playing most of the game with 10 NFL jerseys china men. Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez scored both goals, and de la Torre's decision to return 33 year old Carlos Salcido Cheap authentic jerseys to left back and 34 year old Gerardo Torrado to defensive mid appeared to settle the squad.

    "This [is about] the incapacity of traditional political representation to deal with the new and unheard of demands of a changing society," says Carneiro da Cunha. "The situation is turbulent but we cannot say that Brazil is living through economic or political crisis," added Maria Cristina Fernandes in newspaper Valor Econmico. Indeed, the high end cameras, smartphones and trendy clothes Authentic nfl jerseys on show in the So Paulo crowds made clear that this was a middle class protest. "It easier for me to stay at home with my kids but I here because I want to change things," says Jose Eduardo Fernandez, a 45 year old media executive who strolled down to Avenida Paulista with his wife.

    On the paper side of things,we have Ron Paul tackling USA involvement inside Syria, Reuters, Matt Scuffham on the bail in of the UK Co Op Bank, Ambrose Pritchard Evans on what will happen to the world if Bernanke "tapers" and finally Michael Snyder of Economic Collapse Blog as he discusses the plight of Detroit and the USA in general.100,000 line streets of Brazil to protest corruption.

This thread has been closed from taking new comments.