Exactly a year and a month after the Internet activist Aaron Swartz passed away, the global village unites itself on 11th of February to raise a protest against the most striking revelations of the decade, the mass surveillance adopted by the US security agencies. We at PESIT-BSC as a part of PLUGIn, supported today’s movement in its own small measure.
It began with a small introduction of what the NSA (National Security Agency) is and what it does. An inspirational video about the SOPA protests and Aaron Swartz’s contributions to the world in general and to technology in particular was screened.
This was followed by what #thedaywefightback meant to India and its people. Thoughts about the RTI act, freedom of speech and privacy being breached were raised. People were made to think about how ignorant they were and enlightened upon the fact that its time to stand up against such forces. Striking revelations show that the PRISM program has sniffed even the diplomatic channels used by embassy officials. This is the very proof that our country has lost its sovereignty in making decisions for itself and abiding by it.
Technologies like TOR, Diaspora and textSecure which use some kind of encryption techniques and provide data security were discussed. Thoughts about how to make ourselves and our communication channels safe were aired. There was a decent response and the majority of the crowd believed in the purpose of this movement which we believe is the goal! It’s on our shoulders now to fight back.
There are whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange who have sacrificed their illustrious lives to keep millions of people safe on the web. Its time we showed them some gratitude, rise to the occasion and support the cause.