Quotes that can be use in blogging before the day we fight back!
“Personal data of citizens was intercepted indiscriminately. Corporate information – often of high economic and even strategic value – was at the centre of espionage activity. (…) A sovereign nation can never establish itself to the detriment of another sovereign nation. The right to safety of citizens of one country can never be guaranteed by violating fundamental human rights of citizens of another country.” – Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, at the United Nations general assembly
“As many other Latin Americans, I fought against authoritarianism and censorship and I cannot but defend, in an uncompromising fashion, the right to privacy of individuals and the sovereignty of my country. In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.” – Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, at the United Nations general assembly
“Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paolo, the NSA can and does keep track of your location: they do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world. When someone in Florianopolis visits a website, the NSA keeps a record of when it happened and what you did there. If a mother in Porto Alegre calls her son to wish him luck on his university exam, NSA can keep that call log for five years or more. They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.” – Edward Snowden, in an open letter to the Brazilian people
“Six months ago, I revealed that the NSA wanted to listen to the whole world. Now, the whole world is listening back, and speaking out, too. And the NSA doesn’t like what it’s hearing. The culture of indiscriminate worldwide surveillance, exposed to public debates and real investigations on every continent, is collapsing. Only three weeks ago, Brazil led the United Nations Human Rights Committee to recognize for the first time in history that privacy does not stop where the digital network starts, and that the mass surveillance of innocents is a violation of human rights. The tide has turned, and we can finally see a future where we can enjoy security without sacrificing our privacy.” – Edward Snowden, in an open letter to the Brazilian people
“We have a major challenge ahead: On one hand we have to get these intelligence agencies, struck by an acute form of paranoïa, under democratic control and scrutiny. On the other hand, now that trust in companies such as Google, Facebook or Apple is forever broken, we need to reinvent our relationship to technology: take back control of the machine, rather than being controled by it. It can only happen through free/libre software, decentralized architecture, end-to-end encryption, and profound social and cultural changes. Protecting our privacy means protecting our intimacy, the only space in which we are in full trust and can experiment with ourselves, with new ideas and opinions. It is the very definition of our humanities that is at stake” – Jérémie Zimmermann, La Quadrature du Net, France
“Surveillance can and does threaten human rights, ” EFF International Rights Director Katitza Rodriguez said. “Even laws intended to protect national security or combat crime will inevitably lead to abuse if left unchecked and kept secret. The Necessary and Proportionate Principles set the groundwork for applying human rights values to digital surveillance techniques through transparency, rigorous oversight and privacy protections that transcend borders.” Katitza Rodriguez, International Rights Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
“For far too long, mass and intrusive government surveillance programs operated in the shadows, outside of the rule of law, and without democratic accountability. But expansive spying isn’t just a domestic problem. Surveillance at this scale threatens the rights of individuals in every corner of the world. The need for reform is urgent, but we can’t enact those reforms if we don’t make our governments understand that mass surveillance, operating beyond public scrutiny, threatens the foundations of democracy. People around the world on February 11 have an amazing opportunity to stand up, fight back, and demand that our privacy is respected and protected. By making our voices heard, we will take the next step toward real reform.” Gus Hosein, Executive Director, Privacy International
“Digital surveillance is becoming the most pressing human rights issue of the twenty-first century. What some have called ‘the battle for the free internet’ is all about the tools required for safeguarding our rights and democracy: freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press; privacy, security and governmental accountability.” – Micheal Vonn, BC Civil Liberties Association
“Privacy is a human right. No country should see the citizen of another country as a fair game for surveillance”. Cindy Cohn, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“One of the big problems with the NSA and GCHQ is doing is that it encourages a race to the bottom where every country is spying on every other countries’s citizen. On the day we fight back, we will begin to reverse this process”. Cindy Cohn, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“Governments should not be in the business of targeting us for our own use of strong encryption as the NSA is doing.” Cindy Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation.
No se puede hacer distinción alguna entre las comunicaciones de ciertos individuos (los ciudadanos y residentes estadounidenses) y las comunicaciones del resto de los ciudadanos del mundo. No se ha hablado suficiente sobre el acceso a gran escala por la NSA y el gobierno de EE.UU. del contenido y datos relacionados con las comunicacciones de individuos *no* estadounidenses, aunque se trata de la violación de los derechos humanos del 95% del resto de la población del mundo.
Basándonos en nuestros objetivos fundacionales, SonTusDatos firma y reconoce los Principios Internacionales de Derechos Humanos sobre Vigilancia de las Comunicaciones (https://es.necessaryandproportionate.org/text)
, buscando que a nivel internacional existan parámetros para garantizar una protección de los derechos humanos armonizada con las TICs y la vigilancia de las comunicaciones.
Los derechos humanos son universales: ningún Gobierno debe hacer excepciones entre sus propios ciudadanos y los que no lo son.
“We are fighting for a strong Internet with the capacity for being inhabited socially” Jacobo Nájera, ContingenteMx, Mexico
“Mass surveillance represents not only the end of privacy, but also a serious threat to the right to freedom of expression. There is no single democracy in the Universe that could resist to this scenario. We need to fight back or we will become used to self-censorship, to lose all the spontaneity that feeds creativity. Ultimately, it will be the end of freedom in it’s widest sense”. – Joana Varon, researcher at the Center for Technology and Society and co-editor of Oficina Antivigilância, Brazil.
“Como sociedad civil debemos asegurarnos que las labores de vigilancia del Estado sean garantes de la privacidad, debemos exigir que no respondan a esquemas de vigilancia masiva de comunicaciones electrónicas y pedir que las actividades de vigilancia sean “necesarias y proporcionales”, Carolina Botero, Fundacion Karisma.Colombia.
As civil society we must ensure that the activities related to State surveillance guaranteed privacy, we must require that they must end mass surveillance of electronic communications and we should request that monitoring activities comply with the “necessary and proportionate” principles.
“This isn’t just a battle for reining back the NSA, or GCHQ, or any other intelligence agency. This is about drawing a line in the sand. If you create a secret apparatus that has carte blanche to collect data on every innocent user of the Net, you create an apparatus that can control politicians, detect and silence dissent, and dismantle any democratic check or balance. Mass surveillance is poison to the modern open society. We need to fight back, and we need to win.” — Danny O’Brien, International Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
“Dragnet surveillance is a threat to free expression, commerce and our basic liberties. Governments around the world have betrayed our trust with their secretive spying activities and that requires a response. The Day We Fight Back is our moment to draw a line in the sand and put governments on notice that the Internet is about new forms of democracy and collaboration, not a tool for out-dated governments to deepen their grip on society.” Steve Anderson, Executive Director, Openmedia.org
“Mass surveillance is an existential threat to democratic governance. It is corrosive by creating possibilities of easy abuse that extend to every citizen’s lives at the whim of secret agencies. This is not just a question of accountability and transparency, but whether we are prepared to stand up for our future as a free society.” Jim Killock, Executive Director, Open Rights Group.
“SHARE Foundation is dedicated to protecting the rights and freedoms of Internet citizens. Mass unchecked surveillance is one of the greatest threats to the open, free and decentralized Internet. It needs to be brought under control in order to prevent repression and ensure freedom for future generations.” SHARE Foundation, Serbia
“Since the first Snowden revelations, La Quadrature du Net consistently advocates new asylum rules for whistle blowers of serious violations of fundamental rights, suspension of the Safe Harbour agreement for all companies listed as participating to PRISM, reinforcement of the data protection regulation against similar circumvention of fundamental rights and support to decentralized free software applications based on strong cryptography.” recalls Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.
”Citizens need effective legal tools to regain control over their personal data in the face of the predatory behaviors of giant companies whose business models are based on collecting everyone’s data, favouring the rise of global surveillance. Such legal empowerment cannot be achieved without a proper public debate.” Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net https://www.laquadrature.net/en/will-eu-parliament-sacrifice-our-privacy-for-electoral-reasons
“If you know you’re being surveilled all the time you won’t speak the same way, you won’t say what you know about your boss, you won’t say what you think about your government because you fear this may be used against you. The same way you might not go to the meeting of a new political party because you know you could be blackmailed or blacklisted. The same way you won’t call your doctor for an abortion or won’t read information about HIV or some disease. Privacy is the key to enable all the fundamental freedoms that are themselves at the heart of democratic societies.” Jérémie Zimmermann
“Part of the answer, in order to try to protect our privacy, obviously implies policies and the establishment of legislation protecting citizens. But that is not all. We also need to ask the question of what relationship we have with technology today. Who has physical access to our data and to our personal communications? This is a fundamental question. Because of this freedom, of this fundamental right to privacy protection arise other freedoms. For example, if you know you are being watched constantly, you are not going to express the same way, you can not tell what you know about your boss or your government, you will self-censor.” Jérémie Zimmermann
“The current level of general surveillance in society is incompatible with human rights. To recover our freedom and restore democracy, we must reduce surveillance to the point where it is possible for whistleblowers of all kinds to talk with journalists without being spotted. To do this reliably, we must reduce the surveillance capacity of the systems we use.” Richard Stallman
“Los gobiernos de América Latina adoptaron una posición dura frente a la vigilancia masiva revelada por las filtraciones de Edward Snowden. Sin embargo, en la región subsisten prácticas sumamente problemáticas de las que nuestros gobiernos no se hacen cargo. Desde la intercepción rutinaria de las comunicaciones telefónicas hasta el seguimiento de activistas y sindicalistas por parte de los organismos de inteligencia, estas prácticas son usuales y son permitidas por marcos legales obsoletos e ineficientes. Fortalecer nuestras democracias implica luchar contra esas prácticas draconianas y no hay mejor forma de hacerlo que vinculando nuestros esfuerzos con los de la campaña global por el derecho a la privacidad.” Ramiro Álvarez Ugarte, Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (Argentina).
“Latin American governments took a hard stance against the mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden. Yet, in our region there are unacceptable practices that remain unadressed by our governments. From the routine interception of telephone conversations to the actual following of social activists by intelligence operatives, our intelligence agencies are involved in abuses allowed by a lack of adequate and effective legal frameworks. To strenghten our democracies, we must fight against these draconian practices and there is no better way of doing so than joining our efforts with the global fight for privacy.” Ramiro Álvarez Ugarte, Association for Civil Rights (Argentina).
“South Asian governments are as affected by issues of national security and terrorism as any, and more so than the most. There is huge diversity across the region, in terms of national and cultural attitudes to privacy, freedom of expression, democracy, secular government and economic growth. Many states in the region, however fast their economic growth is, are still comparatively immature in terms of citizens’ understanding of online privacy, and the governance of communications infrastructure and online services.
There is a real risk that governments will apply the technology of surveillance excessively for purposes of political control, forfeiting the social benefits that come from an open, safe Internet.” – Nighat Dad, Director Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan)
“Mass surveillance is no longer a local or national problem. It has been enabled by international cooperation across juridictions and regardless of any legal standards. Cooperation of intelligence agencies, governments and companies is the biggest challenge in fighting surveillance but also the reason why we need to get together for such a fight. This is also why Panoptykon Foundation asked 100 questions on surveillance to the Polish government but demanded some of the answers directly from President Obama.” Katarzyna Szymielewicz, Panoptykon Foundation (Poland)
“Electronic Frontiers Australia believes that the existence of ubiquitous global surveillance involving the Australian government, its ‘Five Eyes’ allies, and others, amounts to the most serious threat to civil liberties that we have seen in 20 years of advocating for digital rights. Mass surveillance undermines individual privacy, subverts the presumption of innocence, and chills freedom of expression. It is fundamentally incompatible with the effective functioning of democratic societies. We must reassert the rights that are at the core of our democratic societies, and we must demand new rights to protect us in a new technological age. We are citizens, not suspects.” Dr Sean Rintel, Chair – Electronic Frontiers Australia
“Rights to privacy may sounds a luxury in developing countries where access to Internet or even clean water is still limited. Look, real people got attacked everyday from land, water, and mining conflicts. There’re more serious human rights violations out there…. But what if we call it, say, ‘rights to discuss sensitive matters comfortably among trusted peers before taking action in a public’? You don’t want the state to destroy your protest before it even get started. Rights to privacy links to freedom of expression and association. And these two freedom are necessary to take part in public discourse, to change the policy, and to end the conflicts. Information privacy is not a luxury. It’s a necessity, it’s a fundamental rights that paves ways for a better society.” Arthit Suriyawongkul, Thai Netizen Network
Today, we’re Watching the Watchers! This is how we fight back. – James Tay, Digital Development Coordinator, IFEX (Canada)
“For two centuries citizens, societies, civilizations have struggled to establish binding declarations of rights, bills of rights, and charters of rights. In a single decade governments around the world have now broken these rules – broken the law – through the unbridled use of new technology. Privacy plays a central role in free expression. In private we prepare ourselves for public comment. Governments have now penetrated the lives of citizens, while obscuring the work of governments. This is a great reversal of the principles of citizens’ rights. It is a great danger to all of us.”
Last year PEN signed onto what we and other organizations have called The Necessary and Proportionate Principles. These Principles apply the long established rules of human rights and free expression to the digital world and therefore to digital surveillance. They reflect PEN International’s Declaration. They apply to the web what we apply off the web. Transparency. Rigorous oversight. Privacy protections. All of this transcending borders.
Please show your support by signing on. JOHN RALSTON SAUL, PRESIDENT OF PEN INTERNATIONAL
“Surveillance is the single greatest challenge to freedom of expression today. On 11 February, people around the world will stand up and demand an end to mass and arbitrary surveillance. Join us in making our voices heard and ensuring that privacy is respected and protected. Marian Botsford Fraser, Chair, PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee
“Tensions between individual rights and state power have reached an unprecedented level. The rule of law, as a cornerstone of democracy and the main framework for the promotion and exercise of human rights, is now considered highly relative. The validity of rights and freedoms are being increasingly subordinated to the implementation of the national security doctrine, which is reminiscent of the times of the Cold War, only more sophisticated and complex.
Secrecy surrounding surveillance practices, programs and systems that operate behind the backs of citizens, as well as the total lack of accountability (not only to citizens but among different state powers) has become the norm. We must reverse this trend. ” Valeria Betancourt, APC policy manager, Association for Progressive Communications.
“Creative processes reside mostly within intimate vital spaces; this intimacy is represented through chains of trust when in collaborative creation. Digital culture thus digital creative processes, urge that kind of virtuoso privacy, where learning, remixing, listening, reading, living, experiencing, doing the unknown, acting and loving one self, can build human beings and their works just as in centuries before. We taught new generations to experience all these within the digital realm so, WE CANNOT AFFORD any kind of SURVEILLANCE for those acts and most important, we WILL NOT AFFORD the FEELING of being observed. Culture, we and our children need an intimate and private digital continent.” José María Serralde Ruiz, pianist, multidisciplinary artist and free culture/technology activist, Mexico
Surveillance quotes crowdsourced by PEN
“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.”
– “On Freedom of Speech and the Press”, Pennsylvania Gazette, 17 November 1737.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
(written shortly before February 17, 1775 as part of his notes for a proposition at the Pennsylvania Assembly, as published in Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin (1818))
Also published as:
“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”
“Relativity applies to physics, not ethics.”
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #8, 1787:
“The continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.”
Lyndon B. Johnson, remarks 10 March 1967:
“Every man should know that his conversations, his correspondence, and his personal life are private.”
James Thurber, The Thirteen Clocks:
“Never trust a spy you cannot see.”
I think it is not wise for an emperor, or a king, or a president, to come down into the boxing ring, so to speak, and lower the dignity of his office by meddling in the small affairs of private citizens.
— Mark Twain in Eruption
General Douglas MacArthur, 1957:
“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear, kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor, with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not rally behind it.”
“We have lost the measure of freedom. We have no means of determining where it begins and where it ends.”
“From good to evil is one quaver, says the proverb.”
Andrei Sakharov (Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom, in The New York Times, July 22, 1968):
“. . .[I]ntellectual freedom is essential to human society – freedom to obtain and distribute information, freedom for open-minded and unfearing debate and freedom from pressure by officialdom and prejudices. Such a trinity of freedom of thought is the only guarantee against an infection of people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorship. Freedom of thought is the only guarantee of the feasibility of a scientific democratic approach to politics, economics and culture.”
George Orwell, 1984:
“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself – anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face (to look incredulous when a victory was announced, for example) was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime, it was called.” (Book 1. Chapter 5. Paragraph 65)
Also from 1984:
“Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it… There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment… You had to live — did live, from habit that became instinct — in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”
John Milton, Areopagitica:
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
William Shakespeare, HENRY V, Act II, Scene 2:
“The King has note of all that they intend,
By interception which they dream not of.”
“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
“We are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion: The stage where the government is free to do anything is pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.”
“The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”
EM Forster, “Two Cheers for Democracy,” 1951:
“We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.”
Nat Hentoff, from Introduction to A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, by John Whitehead [Selectbooks, 2013]
” I believe we are in a worse state now than ever before in this country. With the surveillance state closing in on us, we are fighting to keep our country free from our own government. Whereas we once operated under the Constitution, we are now, for example, under the USA Patriot Act, among other government dragnets, that permits pervasive electronic surveillance with minimal judicial review. The government listens in on our phone calls. It reads our mail. You have to be careful about what you do and say, and that is more dangerous than what was happening with McCarthy, since the technology the government now possesses is so much more insidious. We have no idea how much the government knows about average citizens. This is not the way the government born under the Declaration of Independence is supposed to operate.”
What are the effects on the American idea of Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, PATRIOT Acts I and II, warrantless surveillance, Executive Order 13233, corporate contractors performing military functions, the Military Commissions Act, NSPD 51, etc., etc.? Assume for a moment that some of these measures really have helped make our persons and property safer—are they worth it? Where and when was the public debate on whether they’re worth it? Was there no such debate because we’re not capable of having or demanding one? Why not? Have we actually become so selfish and scared that we don’t even want to consider whether some things trump safety? What kind of future does that augur?”
— David Foster Wallace, from Just Asking in The Atlantic
“The way things are supposed to work is that we are to know virtually everything about what they the government do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They are supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we are called private individuals.”
“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”
“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.”
“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?”
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book…”
Bruce Schneier, The Eternal Value of Privacy, May 18, 2006:
“For if we are observed in all matters, we are constantly under threat of correction, judgment, criticism, even plagiarism of our own uniqueness. We become children, fettered under watchful eyes, constantly fearful that — either now or in the uncertain future — patterns we leave behind will be brought back to implicate us, by whatever authority has now become focused upon our once-private and innocent acts. We lose our individuality, because everything we do is observable and recordable.”
“It’s very, very difficult I think for us to have a transparent debate about secret programs approved by a secret court issuing secret court orders based on secret interpretations of the law.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial:
“K. was living in a free country, after all, everywhere was at peace, all laws were decent and were upheld, who was it who dared accost him in his own home?”
William O. Douglas:
Poulos v. New Hampshire, 345 U.S. 395 (1953):
When a legislature undertakes to proscribe the exercise of a citizen’s constitutional right to free speech, it acts lawlessly; and the citizen can take matters in his own hands and proceed on the basis that such a law is no law at all.
Poulos v. New Hampshire, 345 U.S. 395 (1953):
No matter what the legislature may say, a man has the right to make his speech, print his handbill, compose his newspaper, and deliver his sermon without asking anyone’s permission. The contrary suggestion is abhorrent to our traditions.
“The One Un-American Act,” Speech to the Author’s Guild “Council in New York, on receiving the 1951 Lauterbach Award:
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies. We need all the ingenuity we possess to avert the holocaust. “
“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”