A number of websites such as Reddit and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have put up banners urging Internet users to join one another in an effort to fight back against mass surveillance. The anti-spying initiative has been dubbed 'The Day We Fight Back' by a broad collection of activist groups, companies, and online platforms that are also seeking to honor and celebrate the late Aaron Swartz, an activist and technologist who helped spur a victory over the Stop Online Piracy Act two years ago.
Facing legal action and a potentially lengthy prison sentence for allegedly breaking into a computer network and downloading millions of academic journals, Swartz took his own life on January 11, 2013.
"Aaron had a brilliant, inquisitive mind that he employed towards the ends of technology, writing, research, art, and so much more. Near the end of his life, his focus was political activism, in support of civil liberties, democracy, and economic justice," TheDayWeFightBack.org stated in a press release last month. "Aaron sparked and helped guide the movement that would eventually defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act in January 2012. That bill would have destroyed the Internet as we know it, by blocking access to sites that allowed for user-generated content -- the very thing that makes the Internet so dynamic."
The coalition hopes that another mass awareness campaign can have a similar effect on NSA spying. As it stands now, the effort mostly revolves around getting the word out by encouraging people to visit the organization's website, signing up to receive updates, installing widgets on on websites, using social media tools to announce participation, and anything else that draw attention to the cause, such as creating memes.
For those who want to take a more active role, TheDayWeFightBack.org offers to connect you with legislators with a script you can read, as well as filled out email forms.