Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others join "Day We Fight Back" protest

Today, over 5,000 websites have posted up banners showing their support of "Today We Fight Back". The banners are urging people to call or email their members of the U.S. Congress and ask them to support laws that curtail online surveillance by government agencies.

For awhile, it looked like most of the major technology companies would ignore this grass roots efforts but today it appears that Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter and others are in fact joining "The Day We Fight Back" in their own way. The banner has been placed on the website of Reform Government Surveillance, which was first launched in December in a joint effort by those companies, along with AOL, Yahoo, and LinkedIn.

Microsoft also posted up a new blog post on this subject. Written by Frederick S. Humphries Jr., the company's Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs, he states:

Microsoft will continue to push for policy and technical progress to restore public trust in technology through increased transparency, rigor, limits and oversight, as well as through greater coordination between governments. In short, people won’t use technology they don’t trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it. Microsoft will keep advocating for change until that day comes, and in the meantime will continue to take direct action to protect our customers.

One thing we did notice when we went to the Reform Government Surveillance website today is that Apple, which joined with the above companies in sending an open letter to U.S. lawmakers on government reform in December, is not listed on other parts of the site. The Apple logo is missing from the top of the page and there are no quotes from Apple executives on this subject on the site.

As of this writing, "The Day We Fight Back" banners claim that over 26,000 phone calls and over 66,000 emails have been sent to members of the U.S. Congress today asking them to look into passing laws that curtain mass online spying activities.

Source: Microsoft and Reform Government Surveillance | Image via Reform Government Surveillance

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17 Comments

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FB, Goog, MSFT:
remain calm while we steal our data and sell it to advertisers since after all, if you're not paying for the product, you ARE the product.

EXACTLY! Its not just the NSA that is spying its Google, The applications on your phone & TV, your games and pretty much every website through advertising yes even Neowin.

Fire up wireshark or look at your firewall logs while you play, browse and work. You'll soon see connections to places like "crowdreserch" pop up.

Surprise Surprise http://www.reformgovernmentsurveillance.com/ contacts http://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js typical;

Edited by TPreston, Feb 11 2014, 9:45pm :

neonspark said,
FB, Goog, MSFT:
remain calm while we steal our data and sell it to advertisers since after all, if you're not paying for the product, you ARE the product.

Uhuh, and what negative affects does Google selling your anonymized data have on you exactly? Please, give an example.

I am not the product. Aggregate anonymized data about myself and huge numbers of other people is the product and I honestly don't have a problem with that. Why would I? It's not connected to me personally.

THE_OBSERVER said,
Wheres neowin banner???
Maybe they don't know how to insert the script, or don't care about our privacy. (for example, the lack of SSL in the login page).

WinRT said,
Maybe they don't know how to insert the script, or don't care about our privacy. (for example, the lack of SSL in the login page).
Ikr!

It posts to HTTPS, though it's pointless because anyone can inject an extra script to steal your password to the login page.

Edited by Jeston, Feb 11 2014, 9:10pm :

Did they send you the standard robo letter follow-up...where it says "Thank you for your concern, now go F-- off!" That's what I get everytime I contact my representatives!

This is a good step forward. lets just hope that they don't do what they did with SOPA, and ignore congress and go ahead with heavy handed plans anyway. *cough cough, megauploade, cough cough*

actually they can't do what they did with SOPA because there is no BILL that they are trying to kill. IN fact nobody really knows what this will accomplish since passing a bill is much much more difficult than killing a bill. just ask any president.