So far, nearly 15,000 websites have blocked Congress IPs from accessing them in an effort to voice their displeasure against the current NSA surveillance laws. As the sites block Congress, others are posting their photos with the hashtag #IFeelNaked to back up the protest. On Friday, the protest began as sites began to block Congress.
The Fight for the Future group has provided code so sites can block Congress ahead of the possible re-authorization of NSA surveillance laws under the current Patriot Act, which allows the NSA and FBI to collect data in an effort to curb terror attacks. While this is a very noble cause, citizens are concerned at just how much information is being collected, who can view this information, and, subsequently, what it could potentially be used for.
Sites have put a block against congress IP addresses from accessing their sites, which then redirects these Congress addresses to the Blackout Congress website, a site that explains exactly why the blackout is occurring as well as posting images with the hashtag #IFeelNaked — some of these images being explicit in nature.
“You have conducted mass surveillance of everyone illegally and are now on record for trying to enact those programs into law. You have presented Americans with the false dichotomy of reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act or passing the USA Freedom Act. The real answer is to end all authorities used to conduct mass surveillance. Until you do, thousands of web sites have blocked your access, and more are joining every day.”
As of Monday, one section of the Patriot Act dealing with bulk data collection and phone records is set to expire, and this is why sites want to block Congress as a collective show of hands against mass data collection.
So why is it so important for sites to block Congress?
While data collection is very important in the war against terror, the flip side is the fact many Americans have had their data collected. While one could argue that this is a necessary step to prevent terror attacks such as 9/11, it could also be considered a massive invasion of privacy.
Sites will continue to block Congress until “either the USA Freedom Act is either dramatically improved or dead, or until the Patriot Act provisions have sunset,” says Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight for the Future. As the Inquisitr reported recently, many Americans are in favor of reform in regards to the Patriot Act.
What do you think? Should sites block Congress in protest or is it important for the NSA and FBI to have access to information in order to prevent future terror attacks? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
[Image credit: Blackout Congress screen print]