It’s still not quite clear what PRISM really is, but what has become clear is that the NSA is doing its best to tap into as much online communications as it can. To protest this, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reddit, the ACLU and numerous other organizations with both technical and political backgrounds have launched StopWatching.Us. The campaign, Mozilla’s Alex Fowler writes, wants to call on “citizens and organizations from around the world to demand a full accounting of the extent to which our online data, communications and interactions are being monitored.”
Given last week’s revelations that the NSA is likely tapping into a wide array of Internet communications, it’s no surprise that a number of Internet-based organizations are now banding together to protest the agency’s surveillance programs. As Mozilla’s Fowler notes, we now have a number of technical means to help us protect our privacy online, but “exposures resulting from government-sponsored online surveillance are entirely separate from whether we choose to share information and what those sites say they will or will not do with our data.”
The group specifically asks the U.S. Congress to form a special committee to investigate the allegations and demands “legal reforms to rein in spying and that public officials responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance be held accountable for their actions.” It also asks for a reform of Section 215 of the Patriot Act – the “business records” section that allowed the NSA to get phone records from all the major U.S. phone companies, to reform the FISA Amendment (there seems to be some movement on this front already) and to amend the state secrets privilege.
StopWatching.Us, of course, also aims to bring more attention to this issue, similar to the SOPA/PIPA protests last year. Mozilla will link directly to the site from its Firefox start page, for example, though it’s not clear how the other organizations will support the effort.