Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Give the NSA a break with a #PhoneFree4th

An attitude of supine resignation to universal government surveillance seems to be the dominant tone of every story and editorial that has been written since Glenn Greenwald and  The Guardian made waves with their reporting based on Edward Snowden's leaks about the National Security Agency's Prism program last week.

Well, here's a modest proposal for one small symbolic protest we can make to show our discomfort with these extra-constitutional powers being displayed by the US Government's out-of-control security apparatus. What if we were to take one day, Independence Day, July 4th, to renounce our telephonic and internet umbilical cords and security blankets for 24 hours? There's plenty of time to spread the word about a #PhoneFree4th on  our social media platforms before we turn all our devices off to celebrate our "Freedom"® with fireworks and beer. (Those in other countries who don't have Thursday, July 4th as a holiday, but who may be uncomfortable with the NSA's mandate to spy on "foreigners" might also want to join in.)

Think about the fringe benefits of a #PhoneFree4th: Fewer car accidents from distracted driving, no drunk dialing or butt dialing of phones that have been turned off and packed away for the day, and no calls or emails accepted from those modern 24/7/365 go-getter corporate assholes who think they have the right to bother you with work on a national holiday. If you can't text the one you love, maybe you'll love the one you're with? And -- maybe best of all -- even the bloodshot eyes of the drones working in those soulless windowless cubicles of the NSA and Booz Allen on the Glorious Fourth might get a momentary rest with the reduced volume of calls, texts, tweets, IMs, etc., etc.

And, maybe, freed from the tyranny of the phone and texts and Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn and ... and ... for one day, maybe we'll keep our devices turned off (or at least less active) on Friday the 5th and Saturday and Sunday the 6th and 7th as well.

I have 3,300 Twitter followers, so I'm starting this by tweeting a quick link to this post.  If you want to join in, feel free to do the same.

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