Today Thoughtworks’ Director of Social Impact, Lindy Stephens, joins civil liberties, environmental and digital rights organisations, Senator Scott Ludlam and the Internet Society of Australia in Canberra calling on all Australian internet users to say no to mass dragnet surveillance.
As a member of Citizens Not Suspects Thoughtworks Australia, in name of former Thoughtworker Aaron Swartz, is backing a global effort to pressure lawmakers to end mass surveillance, by blackening or displaying a banner on their websites today.
Lindy Stephens, Thoughtworks’ Director of Social Impact, said: “Dragnet surveillance is not compatible with democratic governance and new rules must be set to protect privacy in the digital age.
“The Day We Fight Back is a chance for Australians to call on our lawmakers to understand the difference between what is technically possible, and what is legal or acceptable.
“Action on the part of legislators is needed to restore trust in the internet and to stop the misuse of technology for mass surveillance.
“While there are plenty of viable human rights and civil liberties arguments against mass surveillance, we also know that it’s bad for business. We have witnessed firsthand the adverse effects the NSA's interception of data has had on the confidence in the US cloud, with some studies pointing to a $45 billion opportunity cost.
“The activities of the Australian Signals Directorate also demonstrate the need for the Australian Government to take note of today’s stand against mass surveillance.
“It is time that our laws and standard operating procedures caught up with technology. Australian businesses are vulnerable if our confidence in using the internet to conduct private conversations and secure financial transactions falters,” Ms Stephens continued.