Call for worldwide protests against surveillance
(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)
Civil rights organizations call for protests against the constant increase
of surveillance conducted by governments and enterprises. A rally under the
motto “Freedom not Fear” will be held in Berlin on 11 October 2008. The
organizers agree that it is high time to take to the streets in order to
defend basic constitutional rights in the light of an ongoing
intensification of security and surveillance measures. The rally turns
against the promotion of the Federal Criminal Police Office
(“Bundeskriminalamt”) to a central, executive police agency with the
permission to secretively spy into citizens’ home computers.
After last year’s demonstration for democracy and civil rights, which was
the largest in Germany in 20 years with over 15 000 participants, protesters
in several countries will, for the first time simultaneously, take to the
streets to demonstrate for their freedom. Currently, 15 countries have
announced their participation in the international action day on 11 October.
Such unanimous protests are mainly due to the ongoing shift of
politicians to push through negotiations on surveillance and control
measures behind closed doors. Among others, the international protest
criticizes the planned registration of all air travellers in the EU,
the planned delivery of data to the USA, biometric data in EU identification
documents, as well as the retention of telecommunication data such as phone
connections or a caller’s whereabouts for all 455 million Europeans.
Against this political spiral of interior armament motivated by
crime-related dangers, civil society places the call for “Freedom not Fear”.
A moratorium for all surveillance activities and the reduction of all mass
scale surveillance, as well as an expansion of digital rights are demanded
to protect and strengthen civil liberties. In addition, activists call for
an independent review of every single planned or existing surveillance and
control measure in terms of its effectiveness and undesired side-effects.
In the run-up to this action day, the German Work Group on Data Retention
(“Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung”) calls for participation in the
Munich demonstration “Freiheit Weiß-Blau – Stoppt den Überwachungswahn” on
20 September 2008, which targets the restrictions of the right to free
assembly and other surveillance measures in the state of Bavaria. In
addition, the OneWebDay on 22 September 2008, will serve as a means for
further mobilisation for the “Freedom not Fear” action day.
Action day “Freedom not Fear” on 11 October 2008
Planned activities for 11 October 2008
(Contribution by Patrick Breyer – Working Group on Data Retention – Germany)