More than 10,000 websites are currently blocking Congress from accessing them as a protest of the Patriot Act, according to The Hill.
The participating websites have embedded a small snippet of code into their websites that detects if a computer is attempting to access the website from an IP address associated with Congress. If that’s the case, that person would be redirected to a protest page plastered with the words “Congress: this is a blackout.”
The mass protest is organised by internet activist group Fight for the Future, which describes itself as “a nonprofit working to expand the internet’s power for good.”
This particular protest is focused on preventing the possible extension of three key provisions of the controversial Patriot Act, the Act of Congress that has allowed for mass government surveillance.
“We are blocking your access until you end mass surveillance laws,” the blackout page states. “You have conducted mass surveillance of everyone illegally and are now on record for trying to enact those programs into law. 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.”
In addition to blocking Congress members’ access to more than 10,000 websites, Fight for the Future is also organising a mass protest with the hashtag #ifeelnaked.org. Stating that “NSA spying makes us feel naked,” the protest invites people all over the world to post photos of themself partially naked.
So far, it’s looking like Fight for the Future and other supporters of ending the Patriot Act may get what they want: the Senate recently blocked the NSA reform bill and three key Patriot Act extensions. Unless lawmakers manage to find support to extend the Act before Sunday at midnight, mass surveillance and those three key provisions of the Patriot Act will be no more.