On February 11, a broad coalition of internet-involved organizations will go online to protest massive electronic surveillance by various governments. The action hopes to repeat the successful beating of SOPA/PIPA bills in 2012.
The protest was announced on the anniversary of Aaron Swartz’s suicide and is dedicated to his memory. The software engineer and online freedom activist took his life in 2013 amid prosecution over alleged illegal downloading of a large number of academic journal articles, the charges which could have landed him in jail for up to 35 years.
“If Aaron were alive, he’d be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action,” the protest coordination website said.
Similar to the SOPA/PIPA protest in 2012, the new day of action will aim at raising public awareness of government online surveillance and pressuring US lawmakers to act against it. Thousands of participating websites will host banners calling on Americans to bombard members of Congress with email and phone calls. And all concerned Internet users will be asked to participate in other ways.