Writers of the world unite against anti-surveillance

writers-against-mass-surveillancePlease, take two minutes, less, to do this. It’s important, so important that more than 550 writers from around the world have joined together and taken half-page ads in newspapers across the world.

The Big Brother of George Orwell’s 1984 exists, and is being used against individuals by nations and corporations all over the world.

Leading Irish writers Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann and Colm Tóibín are signatories.

They are ably assisted by hundreds of others, including JM Coetzee, Julian Barnes, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Jeanette Winterson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Alice Walker, Paul Auster, Don De Lillo, James Salter, Henning Mankell, Lionel Shriver, Orhan Pamuk and Dave Eggers.

They say:

It is an appeal in defense of civil liberties against surveillance by corporations and governments. 

In recent months, the extent of mass surveillance has become common knowledge. With a few clicks of the mouse the state can access your mobile device, your e-mail, your social networking and Internet searches.

It can follow your political leanings and activities and, in partnership with Internet corporations, it collects and stores your data, and thus can predict your consumption and behaviour.

The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual. Human integrity extends beyond the physical body. In their thoughts and in their personal environments and communications, all humans have the right to remain unobserved and unmolested.

In taking a stand for democracy in the digital age, through social media and online petition change.org, they are using digital avenues to maximise their reach.

It is also a protest against the abuse of those digital avenues by massive organisations, at once underlining the good, the bad and the ugly of the digital age.

Take two minutes to read the statement in full, and add your name to the clamour for digital privacy.