Friday, 3 September 2010

Thanks for your support!

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who has send their encouragement — in comments here in my blog, in the Identity Project blog, by e-mail, on Twitter, and by phone — for the lawsuit on my behalf by the First Amendment Project against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

I’ve written before about how my experiences in Eastern Europe have shaped my sense of the importance of my work against travel surveillance and control. But one comment this week from Poland made the point far better than I ever could:

Thank You, and good luck!

I have come across information on your suit against the US Gov’t and DHS, and the fantastic summary you did. I just felt I should thank You for your effort and bravery.

I just wanted to let You know there are people and organisations all over the world (Poland here, by the way) that see the diffusion of privacy and personal rights and freedoms in America as a very dangerous precedent that might “inspire” other countries (and indeed, often it already does) to follow suit (pun not intended).

I come from a nation that had to fight for independence and freedom many times throughout its history. For 21 years we are finally Free - after almost 200 years of enslavement. I have the distinct privilege to not remember the Polish People’s Republic and the times long gone by (I’m 25), but we all here either remember, or simply know (from history lessons, from relatives, from literature) what Orwellian surveillance was like. We all remember or know about the atmosphere, the Kafka-esque processes of law, the fright… And we remember or know what sacrifices had to be made to be finally Free.

Maybe that’s why ideas like secret lists, internet filtering and similar ideas meet with a decisive public resistance. For now. But if the USA, the country people 15-20 years older than me saw as a symbol of freedom and one of the only allies we had against the USSR, slides down this slippery slope any more, resistance can only become harder.

The more can we admire what You are doing.

Hence, for Your sake, and for the sake of all the people that watch and see what’s going on, I wish you strength and good luck in your fight. In times like these there’s always the need for a single fighter to fight for the principles.

It was like that in the fifties in USA with the McCarthy-ism at its height, when Ed Murrow took a stand.

It was like this in the Big Tobacco suits in early nineties when Brown & Williamson almost destroyed Jeff Wigand’s life when he took a stand.

And many, many times more. there’s a reason the famous Solidarity poster for the June ‘89 elections in Poland was basically a frame from the “High Noon”.

So once more - all the best, and good luck.

I’l be watching, and with me two Polish NGOs.

Best regards,

Michal “rysiek” Wozniak

Link | Posted by Edward on Friday, 3 September 2010, 18:45 ( 6:45 PM)
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"Don't believe anything just because you read it on the Internet. Anyone can say anything on the Internet, and they do. The Internet is the most effective medium in history for the rapid global propagation of rumor, myth, and false information." (From The Practical Nomad Guide to the Online Travel Marketplace, 2001)
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