„Disclosures about the magnitude of covert State surveillance and well-known examples of intimidation of human rights defenders shock the conscience and require public discussion and corrective action in each country and by the international community. In a democratic society, it is crucial for citizens to know whether their Governments are acting constitutionally or are engaged in policies that violate international law and human rights. It is their civic duty to protest against Government secrecy and cover-ups, the chilling effect of disproportionate surveillance, acts of intimidation and harassment, arbitrary arrests and defamation of human rights defenders, including whistleblowers, as unpatriotic or even traitors, when in fact they may be the most effective defenders of the rule of law. These acts of surveillance and intimidation are hallmarks of totalitarianism, not of democratic governance.“

United Nations General Assembly - Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/IntOrder/A-68-284_en.pdf.
2013

Alfred de Zayas photo
Alfred de Zayas174
American United Nations official 1947

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Alfred de Zayas photo
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„Specific protection must be granted to human rights defenders and whistleblowers who have in some contexts been accused of being unpatriotic, whereas they perform, in reality, a democratic service to their countries and to the enjoyment of human rights of their compatriots.“

—  Alfred de Zayas American United Nations official 1947

Alfred de Zayas' Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13704&LangID=E UN expert calls for concrete protection to support civil society voices, including ‘whistleblowers’.
2013

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„This is the information war we are now engaged in. Governments are seeking to militarise cyberspace while citizens fight for the right to communicate and assemble freely online without state surveillance.“

—  Heather Brooke American journalist 1970

The Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/20/we-should-all-be-hactivists "We should all be hacktivists now", Column in the Guardian, 20 April 2012.
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„There doesn’t seem to be any law that’s there to protect the citizens from massive State surveillance. We have to collectively come up with some fundamental values around people’s right to privacy, the right to be left alone from government, and rights to free speech.“

—  Heather Brooke American journalist 1970

International Journalism Festival http://www.journalismfestival.com/news/heather-brooke-antitrust-legislation-needed-to-keep-the-internet-free/ Interview with Fabio Chiusi, 12 April 2012.
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Gregory Peck photo
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„For democrats, it's as crucial to defend secular culture as to preserve secular law.“

—  Ellen Willis writer, activist 1941 - 2006

"Freedom from Religion," The Nation (19 February 2001)
Contexto: For democrats, it's as crucial to defend secular culture as to preserve secular law. And in fact the two projects are inseparable: When religion defines morality, the wall between church and state comes to be seen as immoral.

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H.L. Mencken photo

„Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner.“

—  H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956

The American Mercury (May 1930)
1930s
Contexto: Laws are no longer made by a rational process of public discussion; they are made by a process of blackmail and intimidation, and they are executed in the same manner. The typical lawmaker of today is a man wholly devoid of principle — a mere counter in a grotesque and knavish game. If the right pressure could be applied to him, he would be cheerfully in favor of polygamy, astrology or cannibalism.
It is the aim of the Bill of Rights, if it has any remaining aim at all, to curb such prehensile gentry. Its function is to set a limitation upon their power to harry and oppress us to their own private profit. The Fathers, in framing it, did not have powerful minorities in mind; what they sought to hobble was simply the majority. But that is a detail. The important thing is that the Bill of Rights sets forth, in the plainest of plain language, the limits beyond which even legislatures may not go. The Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, decided that it was bound to execute that intent, and for a hundred years that doctrine remained the corner-stone of American constitutional law.

Samantha Power photo
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„Like gun laws, spy laws, courtesy of the Surveillance State, oppress only law-abiding, harmless individuals.“

—  Ilana Mercer South African writer

"In the West, the Inmates Run the Asylym," http://praag.org/?p=21073 Praag.org, December 4, 2015.
2010s, 2015

Andrew Jackson photo

„The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe.“

—  Andrew Jackson American general and politician, 7th president of the United States 1767 - 1845

"Proclamation to the people of Louisiana" from Mobile (21 September 1814).
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