Polish NGO To Obama: Mass Surveillance Is Not Freedom

Katitza Rodriguez | Electronic Frontier Foundation | June 3, 2014

On June 4, 2014, one day before the anniversary of the Snowden revelations, Poland celebrates 25 years since the fall of an authoritarian regime. On this occasion, President Obama is visiting Poland and meeting with many heads of states—including officials who were affected by the mass surveillance scandal carried out by the NSA. The United States and Poland have a long tradition of official visits between their leaders.  These visits symbolize a close, allied relationship between the two countries  and “help advance many political and economic issues.”

Since October 2013, the Panoptykon Foundation, a Polish NGO, has tried to understand the relationship between the Polish and United States’ secret service organizations. Panoptykon believes that the Polish government, by accepting mass and pre-emptive surveillance, is reverting back to the much contested practices of the former, authoritarian regime—practices that triggered the revolution 25 years ago.  Thus,  the NGO has organized a user-generated campaign for June 4, urging people to welcome President Obama to Poland by vocalizing their thoughts on mass surveillance.

Panoptykon is encouraging activists, journalists, and others around the globe to tweet pictures of themselves holding a piece of paper that says "Surveillance Is Not Freedom. Say it on the 4th of June." These pictures should be shared online, tagged #ObamaPL and #25latwolnosci. The NGO will submit press releases to Polish media, and publish  a couple of op-eds to accompany the campaign...