As of Friday afternoon, over 14,000 websites have blocked Congressional access to their pages, instead directing them to a protest page. The massive move is an effort to show Congress that its push for continued surveillance via the Patriot Act and USA Freedom Act is unwelcome.
Facilitated by Fight for the Future (a non-profit internet advocacy group), the process works by identifying IP addresses that originate from Congress. When a Congressional IP is detected, whatever website the user attempted to access redirects to blackoutcongress.org. There, the site declares, “Congress: this is a blackout.” It explains to members of Congress (and presumably, their staff) why they were redirected:
“We are blocking your access until you end mass surveillance laws. You have conducted mass surveillance of everyone illegally and are now on record for trying to enact those programs into law.”
The website also calls out issues with recent Congressional actions regarding domestic spying:
“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 a conclusion, the page says Congress should be “ashamed” of mass surveillance:
“It’s like a strip search, online. We should never, ever have to worry the government is watching our private moments. Congress should be ashamed that they want to see our naked photos, so we’re putting up plenty of them to make sure they are!”
Beneath the text is a long collection of photographs from internet users — some fully nude, others partially nude — bearing the hashtag #ifeelnaked.
The page invites others to join the photographic protest at ifeelnaked.org. It urges citizens to call their lawmakers to voice their opposition to continued spying.
Though Congress has made multiple attempts to continue mass surveillance, recent developments indicate the NSA’s unchecked authority may soon expire. This would be a development in line with the desires of the American public.
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Contributed by Carey Wedler of The Anti Media.