Pirate Party Australia is joining other activist organisations and political parties around the world today to protest the mass surveillance regime that has been exposed through leaks from whistleblower and US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Websites around the world will blacken or display a banner on Tuesday 11th (and Wednesday 12th, Australian time) February as part of a global day of action against mass surveillance.
We in Australia are joining in this global effort to pressure our lawmakers to end mass surveillance — of Australians and of the citizens of other countries.
Together, and in the name of Aaron Swartz, we are pushing back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyse our every digital action.
Dragnet surveillance is not compatible with democratic governance and new rules must be set to protect privacy in the digital age.
As well as a comprehensive review of current mass surveillance activities, we are calling for:
- An end to warrantless access to telecommunications data
- A new agreement governing information-sharing between the ‘Five Eyes’ powers (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) that provides meaningful protections for individuals’ privacy
- Extending the Freedom of Information Act and the reporting requirements of the Telecommunications Interception and Access Act to cover intelligence and security agencies
- A requirement for service providers to inform customers of any arrangements that are in place to provide personal information to governments.
“The global surveillance system exposed by Edward Snowden isn’t just about the NSA, the Australian Signals Directorate has been implicated too. Both major parties have been tight lipped because they support the destruction of our privacy” said Simon Frew, President of Pirate Party Australia. “We need safeguards to protect our civil liberties. Just because the technology is there to cheaply spy on every person who uses a computer or mobile phone, it does not mean that it should happen. Democracy requires privacy and the surveillance regime the government has signed up to under the Five Eyes program is a direct assault on the civil liberties of everyone.”
“It is important that we all continue to oppose the surveillance state and fight to win back our privacy. Pirate Party Australia believes that the government needs to be transparent about what is done in our name as secrecy breeds corruption, and the Liberal government has made secrecy its standard mode of operation. Citizens need privacy to be able to speak freely, criticise injustice and hold the government to account. The surveillance regime exposed by Edward Snowden shows a fundamental shift in the relationship between people and the state. The balance needs to be turned back the other way. Today we fight back,” Mr Frew concluded.
Join us on 11th (and 12th) February to show your opposition to mass surveillance by darkening your website and adding a banner. Instructions and more information are available at http://thedaywefightback.org.au.