Talking tech since 2003

Since it was recently revealed that the United States government has been stretching their technological freedoms beyond their limit, what with recent reports (and outrage) over U.S. citizen phone-tapping and surveillance of online user activity, a number of important web sites have pledged to protest the National Security Administration and its actions on July 4.

Included in the ever-growing list are the likes of WordPress, Namecheap, Reddit, 4chan, Mozilla, Fark, TOR, Cheeseburger, Demand Progress, MoveOn, and EFF among many more.

Many if not all of these sites intend to share and increase awareness of their protest against the NSA’s actions by spreading banners over their sites and respective networks. A number of them will also post a related update on their site to generate awareness among its users.

Some even plan to air television or web ads, like the one below.

Unlike related protests to stop online privacy bills like SOPA and PIPA, no sites have announced a decision to go dark or “black out”, meaning no day-long shutdowns of large sites should occur – as it did on Wikipedia, Reddit and Flickr, among others.

Sites will, however, direct their users and supporters to a website where they can sign an online petition, contact Congress, make donations to support ongoing protest funds, and find invitations to real-world protests open for participation.

A number of supportive anti-NSA organizations have cropped up in the wake of this nationwide news, including, Restore the Fourth, and StopWatching.Us. Perhaps the largest among these, Fight for the Future (an organization whose goal is to “expand the Internet’s power for good”), plans to combine the power of all these organizations and the attention they garner. Then, take the results right to Congress’ doorstep.

Co-founder of Fight for the Future Tiffiniy Cheng said that they’re “going to deliver [our signatures] to Congress, and combine the total number with the StopWatching.US petition numbers.”

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see how effective protests are at moving the needle, not to mention how quickly (if at all) Congress, the NSA, or president Barack Obama cobbles up a response or public statement. If it’s anything like the SOPA shutdown, hopefully, we’ll have less to worry about come tomorrow.

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