Electronic Frontier Foundation
Watch for it. This year student protest and resistance to mass surveillance might be bursting at the seams. The Internet, which students across the world have grown up with, is under threat. And now more than ever, student leaders are contacting EFF, wanting to know how to get involved to protect our rights online.
Now is the time to organize. We’re calling on all concerned students, whether new organizers or seasoned campus leaders, to join the growing movement to fight for our right communicate and innovate, unhampered by oppressive government surveillance and creativity-stifling copyright law.
Surveillance chills speech. When we know that researching politically controversial topics might make us targets for increased government scrutiny, we are less likely to research. Digital privacy is an intellectual freedom issue. And that’s why we’re thrilled to bring this movement to college campuses.
When we say organize, we mean use your network and institutional resources to create a space for discussion, debate, and campaigns. If there’s already a group of people interested in digital rights, start an official university club so others can find you easily and join. If there’s a professor whose work or interests intersect with the topic, ask her to help plan an event.
Form a Student Group for Digital Freedom
There have always been student groups for those interested in technology and other student groups for those interested in human rights, but now there is an immediate need for these conversations to merge.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
Organize An Event
One of the best ways to find out who is interested in these topics on campus is to organize an event. At the event, you can collect email addresses from those who come and start a listserve to keep the conversation going. Here’s a email sign-up sheet you can use.
It’s important to always be creative and open to fun ideas, and we have some event ideas that are pretty easy to unpack and get started:
Once you find a good room and start doing outreach, be sure you have all the materials you need to make the event a success. This includes technology the room might need, like a microphone or a projector, as well as an information table at the front, where people should be encouraged to sign up for the email list and take handouts. EFF has plenty of one-pagers on digital rights that you can print out and use.
The Time Is Now
There’s no time to waste. The school year has just begun and student groups are forming. Try to get yours together to display at your university’s fall student club fair or in time to get an event together for this semester. Let us know if you get something organized. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to keep us in the loop!
Reach out to everyone, because no matter what folks are primarily concerned about, the centrality of technology and electronic communication to all organizing for social justice and political change means that digital rights should matter to everyone.
Let’s do this. After all, it’s our Internet, and we have to fight to protect it. We look forward to working with you.
Please visit EFF to follow the latest in the battle for digital privacy.
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