I apologize for the very brief posting this morning.
A website called "Stop Watching Us" (alternatively termed Stop Watching US) asks us all to sign a petition demanding that the United States government stop spying on citizens of all nations through actions taken by the National Security Agency. Stop Watching Us was formed last week by a coalition of civil liberties groups and has been backed by a "who's who" of freedom and privacy-based organizations including Electronic Frontier Foundation and Greenpeace USA.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on the 10th of December, 1948 states the following in Article 12:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."
The Commission was made up of 18 members from various backgrounds and the UDHR Drafting Committee was charred by Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of American President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Obviously, at that time, the designers could not possibly have anticipated the degree to which governments can interfere with our privacy.
Here is an excerpt from the letter sent to the U.S. Congress by Stop Watching Us:
"We are calling on Congress to take immediate action to halt this surveillance and provide a full public accounting of the NSA's and the FBI's data collection programs. We call on Congress to immediately and publicly:
1. Enact reform this Congress to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendments Act to make clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity and phone records of any person residing in the U.S. is prohibited by law and that violations can be reviewed in adversarial proceedings before a public court;
2. Create a special committee to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying. This committee should create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
3. Hold accountable those public officials who are found to be responsible for this unconstitutional surveillance."
Thus far, over 195,000 people have signed the petition and, from the brief time I spent on the website, it was growing very, very rapidly. It's obvious that there is a lot of anger out there.