Mozilla, Reddit, Others Organize NSA Protest

A coalition of activist groups has declared Feb. 11 as The Day We Fight Black, combining activism against NSA data collection and celebrating the anniversary of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) blackout.

The protest was announced on the eve of the anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz.

"Today the greatest threat to a free Internet, and broader free society, is the National Security Agency's mass spying regime," said David Segal, executive director and cofounder of Demand Progress. "If Aaron were alive he'd be on the front lines, fighting back against these practices that undermine our ability to engage with each other as genuinely free human beings."

Swartz was the Internet activist who died of an apparent suicide Jan. 11 while awaiting trial on multiple felony charges for allegedly using MIT computers to illegally download scientific journals.

Swartz was among those who helped defeat SOPA by marshalling opposition to the bill and was instrumental in the blackout, in which dozens of Web sites went dark to demonstrate against it, including Google, Mozilla, Wikipedia and Craigslist. 

Demand Progress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Boing Boing, Reddit and Mozilla are joining in the day of activism, on which they say they will "make calls and drive emails to lawmakers." In addition, the Web sites will display "banners" encouraging Web surfers to "fight back against surveillance," and "employees of technology companies will demand that their organizations do the same."

A spokesperson for the effort said they were not advocating for hacking or altering sites.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.