Freedom Not Fear 2009

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On 12 September 2009 we called for participation in an international action day against excessive surveillance. In European capital cities and elsewhere around the world we protested against the blanket retention of our communications data and other instruments of surveillance.

Reports on activities:


Planning information

Cities – Overview

Freedom Not Fear
Project Freedom Not Fear 2009 - International action day for civil liberties; against mass-surveillance, mass-data retention
    Tel. +49-30-488 206 40
    Visitors: Hessische Straße 10, Berlin, Germany
Press Info
Further Info
Help Organize a demonstration or other peaceful protest activity on 12 September 2009.
Cannot find your city in the List? Please setup a campaigning-site for it yourself or get in contact with us

Further Ressources
Fundings + Grants Please donate to the national coordinating organizations!
Mailinglist Mailinglist for coordination!

Activities will take place in the following European capitals that are marked with "(x)".
(please add your activities):

ISO Country Activity City
AT Austria x Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck
BG Bulgaria x Sofia
CZ Czech Republic x Prague
DE Germany x Berlin
FI Finland x Helsinki
IT Italy x Milano
MK Macedonia x Skopje
NL Netherlands x Amsterdam
SW Sweden x Stockholm
CH Switzerland Zurich
UK United Kingdom x London

Other countries participating:

ISO Country Activity City
AR Argentina x Buenos Aires
GCA Guatemala X Guatemala


To get in touch with the organizers of the national events and find out more, please take a look at the 2008 International actions overview.

Press / Radio

National press contacts can be found here., and others will hopefully again providing a radio stream on the very day.

Call for Action

International Action Day “Freedom not Fear 2009 – Stop the Surveillance Mania!” on 12th September 2009

A broad movement of civil liberty rights defenders is calling upon everyone to participate in actions directed against the ongoing spread of excessive surveillance measures on the part of businesses and governments. On Saturday, 12th September 2009, concerned citizens in numerous countries around the world will gather to protest under the motto “Freedom not Fear 2009 – Stop the Surveillance Mania!”.

The surveillance mania is continuing to spread. Surveillance in the workplace, in particular, 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 an opportunity to register, monitor and control us. No matter what we do, to whom we talk to, or who we call, in what groups we are engaged in and what interests we follow – the “big brother” state and the “little brothers and sisters” in the business sector are always one step ahead and know better. 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 a just society in an unbiased and courageous manner.

The supposed security gain, often put forward to justify measures of surveillance and control, is more than questionable: Accumulating information about citizens does not enhance our protection against crime, it only costs us billions every year. Thereby measures accounting for a more selective and sustainable strengthening of security are being ignored. This also applies to finding remedies for more pressing social problems, such as unemployment and unequal opportunity in our countries. Beyond that, the manifold agenda of security sector reform leads to an ongoing convergence of competencies and cooperation among the police, secret services and the military, threatening to water down the division and balance of power. As a result the constitutional ambits of surveillance are being abolished, leading our society to being increasingly walled off from the rest of the world.

Surveillance, as part of everyday life, affects all of us, not just minorities: It compromises our religious freedom, our freedom of expression and information, our right to a free press, the freedom of association and the integrity of companies. A high number of civil organizations and occupational groups are being exposed to measures of surveillance and control in an exceptional manner. Amongst others, these include the personnel of advisory services, medical practitioners, trade unionists, journalists and lawyers.

The respect for our professional and personal privacy is an essential part of our human dignity. A free and open society cannot exist without implicit private spaces and free communication. Therefore we call upon everyone to join our protest against excessive surveillance and control on 12th September 2009 in numerous capitals around the world.

We demand:

1.Cut back of surveillance measures:

  • abolition of the blanket logging of our communication and locations (data retention)
  • abolition of the blanket collection of our biometric data as well as RFID passports
  • protection from surveillance at the workplace through effective labour data protection laws
  • consideration of data protection measures for citizens and employees already in the conception stage of all e-government projects
  • no consistent student-ID number
  • no handing over of personal information without cause; no European wide standardized state run collection of information (Stockholm Program)
  • no systematic surveillance of monetary transactions or any other mass data analysis within the EU (Stockholm Program)
  • no information exchange with the US or any other state lacking effective data protection laws
  • abolition of permanent CCTV camera surveillance and ban of all behavioral detection techniques
  • no blanket registration of passengers traveling with airlines or by boat (PNR data)
  • no secret searches of private computer systems, neither online nor offline
  • no introduction of the e-health insurance card in the presently planned form

2. Evaluation of existing surveillance powers

  • We demand an independent review of all existing surveillance powers with regard to their effectiveness, costs, harmful side effects and possible alternatives.

3. Moratorium for new surveillance powers

  • Following the domestic rearmament in the past few years we demand putting an immediate stop to all new domestic security bills, which would further restrict civil liberties.

4. Guarantee of the freedom of expression and the right to free exchange of opinion and information

  • no restrictions on accessing the internet through governmental institutions and internet service providers
  • ban on installing filter infrastructures on ISP networks
  • allowing the removal of internet contents only through judicial order
  • introduction of an unlimited right to quote multimedia content, which nowadays is indispensable for public debate in democracies
  • protection of internet platforms for preserving the free expression of opinion (participatory websites, forums, comments on blogs etc.), which nowadays is threatened by inadequate laws encouraging self-censorship (chilling effect)

Archive: Freedom not Fear 2008

Information on last year's action day:

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