In protest of any possible last-ditch re-authorization of NSA spying powers, thousands of sites are blocking Congressional IP addresses using a piece of code written by the activist organization Fight for the Future.
“This is a blackout,” reads the site to which computers from Congressional IPs are redirected. “We are blocking your access until you end mass surveillance laws.” The protest, which went viral on Friday after hitting the top of Reddit technology, includes well over 10 thousand websites at this point.
According to The Guardian:
“Right now the code affects only visitors from Congress, we’re willing to keep it up,” said Holmes Wilson, a co-founder of Fight for the Future.
The redirect site also includes semi-nude, sometimes explicit photos submitted by people, under the heading: “NSA spying makes me feel naked.”
“We’ll keep blocking sites until either the USA Freedom Act is either dramatically improved or dead, or until the Patriot Act provisions have sunset,” Wilson said, referring to the debate in Congress over whether to let some of the NSA’s full surveillance powers expire on 1 June or to pass a bill, called the USA Freedom Act, that eliminates or changes some of those powers.
Wilson said the group does not support the USA Freedom Act in its current incarnation, and wants Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which the NSA and FBI use to collect massive amounts of Americans’ data, to expire.
Three key provisions of the Patriot Act, the controversial bill that our government uses to justify scooping up American phone calls en masse, expire tomorrow, barring a legislative miracle when Congress reconvenes today. We’ll check back in if there are any major updates, but at this point, it’s looking like the NSA’s critics will finally be getting their druthers as the spying program’s already flimsy legal justification dissolves entirely. [The Guardian]