Online Activists Staging Government-Surveillance Protest
For the last several days, Reddit activists have been meeting virtually, planning a large-scale protest of government surveillance that is set take place on July 4. The activist group, which is being called "Restore the Fourth," already has more than 12,000 members, who have rallies planned in 68 cities, and the support of at least one major U.S. politician.
"The primary objective of this protest and the larger movement will be the immediate end of indiscrimanant [sic] government surveillance of the American people," the creators write in a press release drafted late Tuesday evening. They continue:
They're formalizing, too. There's a video in the works, and they've even gotten recognition from Gary Johnson, the 2012 Libertarian candidate for president.
So far, it's been pretty remarkable to watch how the group has formalized online. They've held several virtual town hall-style meetings, and published the chat logs for all to see.
If this protest happens--and it likely will (to some extent, at least)--it will mark a significant turning point for the Reddit community, a community that's fiercely vocal online about a variety of privacy-related issues, but whose physical presence--in terms of rallies and protests--has been somewhat limited.
It also brings up an interesting analogy. If Facebook and Twitter helped organize the backbone behind the Arab Spring, it's worth asking: Can Reddit become the impetus behind a large-scale--and real-life--Internet privacy movement?