Home > Information Availability > [riseup] Global Day of Action against Data Retention

[riseup] Global Day of Action against Data Retention

[en] Global Day of Action against Data Retention
[es] Dia de acción global en contra de la retención de datos
[pt] Dia Mundial de Ação contra a Retenção de Dados
[ru] октября. День глобальных действий против сбора данных

October 11th: Global Day of Action against Data Retention

October 11th, marked a global day of action against Data Retention
[1]. We wish to show our solidarity and support those who are being
forced by the by the E.U. Directive 2006/24/EC to participate in
pre-emptive surveillance of communications infrastructure. ISPs in
Europe are being forced by this Directive to be involuntary agents of
the police, to store your communications data. We wish to voice our
dissent of this attack on privacy and demonstrate our strong support and
solidarity for those who fight against this apalling turn of events.

The communication networks of the coming decades are being built now,
and we have an important decision to make: will the infrastructure of
the future be one that supports freedom or one that is designed to
facilitate surveillance and control?

Currently, our communication systems are being redesigned in order to
build a spectacularly efficient machine for maintaining total social
control. This work is being done by the democratic governments of the
world, and the UN, in the name of law enforcement. These governments
have a problem: the internet and new communication technologies are
undermining their capacity for lawful surveillance. Their solution to
this problem has been to attempt total surveillance of all communication
and to require that every internet server becomes a data gathering arm
of the government.

The new technologies of packet switching, digitization, and encryption
are fundamentally different from the communication technologies of the
past. Where once it was expensive and difficult to gather surveillance
data on a particular person, now one can gather detailed data on
millions of people with the push of a button. At the same time, these
new communication systems can also be designed to make surveillance
almost impossible. Unfortunately, there is no middle ground: either we
build systems that are secure or we build systems that are deeply
flawed, easily abused, and lend themselves to social control.

The old compact with the democratic states is over: there is no longer
an option of limited state surveillance. We must choose between greatly
diminished state surveillance or the capacity of total state
surveillance. This is simply the nature of the new communication

We demand:

* Freedom of Expression: Everyone must be able to communicate
anonymously and privately. Our computers must not become outsourced
extensions of the state police. We must not be required to gather and
archive the communication data of our users. We must not be required to
allow back-door access to the government to listen in on anyone’s
* Freedom of Association: Everyone must be able to associate freely
without the government tracking and monitoring the network of whom we
associate with. We must be allowed to use communication tools that do
not reveal the sender and recipient. The government must not be allowed,
legally or technically, to build a map of how our social movements are

Much of the new surveillance we can fight with the voluntary adoption of
better protocols. Other aspects of the new surveillance we must fight
through political organizing, in the courts, in the streets, and by
active disobedience to the law.

The stakes in this struggle are too high. We must work now to keep open
the ability of social movements to communicate privately and freely. If
we do not, we have surrendered our ability to resist governments,
corporations, and injustice for many years to come.

For more information about the global day of action, see Freedom Not
Fear [1].

[1] http://freedom-not-fear.eu

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