Stop Watching Us

This email landed in my inbox recently. It’s worth repeating in its entirety:

This Tuesday, Mozilla joined with a coalition of organizations from across the political and technical spectrum to send a message to the US government: Stop watching us.

We believe that technology’s most important use is for good. But if what we’ve heard about PRISM is true, then what has been happening is the opposite of that. And the more I hear about the massive spying program that has allegedly been collecting information on the way millions of people use the Web, the more I worry. I worry specifically about government agencies forcing private companies to hand over people’s data in secret — even if there is no suspicion that those people have done anything wrong.

The information that government agencies are reportedly collecting includes everything we do on the Web — our communication with friends and family, the way we conduct private business and manage our money. If these revelations are true, they confirm my worst fears about the potential for abuse of our basic rights. But for me, that’s not what worries me most. The worst part is seeing so many people just shrug their shoulders and say, “Well, this was inevitable. Privacy is dead.”

It’s not inevitable. We can can change things. Privacy is an essential part of Internet life that can be protected if we fight for it, and we’re fighting now. The first step: tell Congress to stop unwarranted spying on Internet users and to explain exactly what’s going on.

Please, I urge you to join me and so many others in telling the US government: stop watching us.

And if you — like me — don’t live in the US, you can still sign. This affects all of us.

I believe in a Web where we don’t have to fear that everything we do is tracked, monitored and logged — all behind closed doors. I believe that the Web thrives on openness and transparency. For 20 years, we’ve built the Web on these principles. We need to protect them.

Just over a year ago, we asked for the public’s help to stop the US Congress from considering legislation — the Stop Online Piracy and PROTECT IP Acts — that posed serious threats to the future of the Web. I was blown away by the response. It was the biggest online protest in history — hundreds of thousands of you got involved and together we shut down a fundamental attack on the Web as we know it. That’s what we can do when we work together — when we fight together.

Today we are taking a stand for everyone who uses technology, for any reason. Please stand with us. Don’t wait. Do it now:


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