International Action Day "Freedom not Fear 2009 – Stop Surveillance Mania!" on 12 September 2009

Freedom not fear

A broad movement of campaigners and organizations is calling on everybody to join action against excessive surveillance by governments and businesses. On 12 September 2009, concerned people in many countries will take to the streets, the motto being "Freedom not fear 2009 – Stop Surveillance Mania!".

Call for action

Participating cities

Surveillance mania is continuing to spread. Surveillance, particularly at the workplace, has been increasing. Employees are being watched and monitored in their work environment, sometimes even in their private lives. At the same time, governmental institutions do not miss any opportunity to register, monitor and observe us. No matter what we do, to whom we talk to, whom we call, which groups we are engaged in or what interests we pursue – "big brother" government and the "little brothers and sisters" in the business sector know it more and more thoroughly. The subsequent lack of privacy and confidentiality endangers our society. People who permanently feel that they are being watched and monitored are restrained from standing up for their rights and for an equal society in an unbiased and courageous manner. 

The purported security gain often put forward to justify measures of surveillance and control is more than questionable: Accumulating information on citizens does not enhance our protection against crime but costs us billions of euros every year. In that way targeted and sustained security measures fall by the wayside. This also applies to the search for remedies for more grinding social problems, such as unemployment and unequal opportunities in our countries. The manifold agenda of security sector reform leads to an increasing convergence of competences and co-operation among the police, secret services and the military, threatening to water down the division and balance of powers. As a result the constitutional limits to surveillance are being abolished leading our society to be increasingly walled off from the rest of the world.

Surveillance as a part of everyday life is affecting not just minorities, but all of us: It compromises our religious freedom, our freedom of expression and information, the freedom of press, our freedom of association and the integrity of businesses. A large number of civil organizations and professionals are being exposed to special measures of surveillance and control, for example the personnel of counselling services, medical practitioners, members of trade unions, journalists and lawyers.

The respect for our privacy is an important part of our human dignity, both at work and at home. A free and open society cannot exist without unconditionally private spaces and communications.

In order to protest against security mania and excessive surveillance we will take to the streets in capital cities in many countries on 12 September 2009. We call on everybody to join our peaceful protest. Politicians are to see that we are willing to take to the streets for the protection of our liberties!

You can find the latest information on the protest marches and the list of participating cities at our website:

We demand:

1. Cutback on surveillance measures

  • no blanket registration of all air travellers (PNR data)
  • no information exchange with the US and other states lacking effective data protection
  • no secret searches of private computer systems, neither online nor offline
  • abolish the blanket logging of our communications and locations (data retention)
  • abolish the blanket collection of our biometric data as well as RFID passports
  • abolish the blanket collection of genetic data
  • abolish permanent CCTV camera surveillance and automatic detection techniques
  • scrap funding for the development of new surveillance techniques
  • protect us from surveillance at the workplace by effective personal data protection in employment law
  • e-government projects must take into account the protection of citizens' and employees' data right from the start
  • no standardization of public databases in Europe (Stockholm programme)
  • no systematic surveillance of monetary transactions or any other mass data analysis within the EU (Stockholm programme)
  • no information exchange with the US or any other nation lacking effective human rights

2. Evaluation of existing surveillance powers

We call for an independent review of all existing surveillance powers as to their effectiveness and harmful side-effects.

3.  Moratorium on new surveillance powers

Following the homeland armament of the past few years we demand an immediate hold to new homeland security laws that further restrict civil liberties.

4.  Guaranteeing freedom of expression, dialogue and information on the Internet

  • no restrictions on Internet access by governmental institutions or internet service providers
  • ban the installation of filtering infrastructure on ISP networks
  • only independent and impartial judges may request the removal of Internet content
  • create a full right to quote multimedia, today indispensable to public debate in democracies
  • protect common internet places of expression (participatory sites, forums, comments on blogs) today threatened by inadequate laws encouraging self-censorship (chilling effect)

More information

In our wiki you can find information on participating countries and events planned:

Read the wiki...

Contact us

International mailing list for coordinating Freedom Not Fear 2009:

Berlin coordination office for activists and volunteers: Hessische Straße 10, 10115 Berlin, tel. +49 (0)30/4882 0640 or +49 (0)30/4882 0641, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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