World Speaks Out Against Mass Surveillance in Global Day of Online Protest: Day We Fight Back

| February 11, 2014

CIPPIC has joined over 6,000 organization and individual websites in an international day of action protesting against mass surveillance. The Day We Fight Back, which began as a U.S. based initiative spearheaded by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Access, Center for Democracy & Technology, Mozilla, Reddit, and others, has taken on international dimensions as groups and individuals throughout the world are speaking out against the increasingly disproportionate overreaching of their respective national spying agencies.

The grassroots campaign includes a Canadian component, an international component and a U.S.-based component. The Canadian-based component provides a mechanism, hosted at by, which lets individuals send their local MPs a message calling for an end to the government's excessive surveillance practices. The international component lets individuals sign on to the International Principles for the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance, a set of legal principles developed by CIPPIC and a number of other civil society groups designed to secure privacy and other human rights in an environment where it is rapidly becoming technologically feasible to collect 'everything'. The U.S. component allows individuals to either phone or email their congressional representatives in support of legislation that seeks to roll back the expansive powers of U.S. investigative agencies. So far, as of 2 pm, over 170,000 individuals have signed the International & Canadian calls to action since this morning. In the United states, 45,000+ and 100,000+, respectively, have phoned and emailed their U.S. congressional representatives.

UPDATE (February 12, 2014): Day of Action By the Numbers

In total, the day of action yielded about 275,000, endorsements of the IPAHRCS (220,182 endorsements through the Day We Fight Back website and widgets and roughly 55,000 more through the IPAHRCS site itself: as well as through other initiatives such as the Canadian petition hosted by our friends at at:, as well as 80,741 telephone calls and 163,859 individuals who sent emails to U.S. Congressional representatives through the Day We Fight Back website and widgets. On average, that amounts to an average of 3.18 signatories per second for the non-U.S. petitions (2.54 signatures per second through Day We Fight Back website & widgets alone!) and 2.83 actions per second within the U.S. The combined total was roughly 519,600 'actions', an average of 6.01 actions per second over the course of the 24 hour day.

Numerous Canadian organizations also participated in the day of action. A coalition of 45 groups (including CIPPIC), spearheaded Canadian activities:

In addition, as neatly documented by EFF and the BCCLA, the movement was truly global in scope. It was commemorated in Parliament by NDP Digital Affairs Critic Charmaine Borg (MP, Terrebonne-Blainville):


Ms. Charmaine Borg (Terrebonne—Blainville, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today is not just budget day 2014. It is also a national day of action against inappropriate surveillance of Canadian citizens.


That is right. Today is also the day we fight back. A coalition of organizations across Canada have joined together to speak out against the illegal spying on Canadians in airports by CSEC and the government's failure to ensure the protection of the personal information of Canadians.


I would like to express my support for all of those who will get involved today to demand more transparency from the government with respect to Communications Security Establishment Canada and an end to its violations of privacy.


I invite all Canadians who cherish their privacy to visit to demand that the government take our privacy seriously.

It has generated an excellent collection of surveillance cartoons and images through a contest hosted by the WebWeWant initiative, an impressive collection of thought provoking quotes on mass surveillance from experts in Canada and around the world, and, most importantly, a solid grassroots foundation for future action.

Tamir Israel, Staff Lawyer