Australian rock deity Nick Cave has joined a coalition of 562 authors, including 5 Nobel Prize laureates, from more than 80 countries, who’ve banded together on International Human Rights Day to take a stand against widespread digital surveillance by corporations and governments.
Said the Change.org petition: “All humans have the right to remain unobserved and unmolested… This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes.”
According to the petition description, the demands of Writers Against Mass Surveillance are:
“WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people to determine, as democratic citizens, to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed, and by whom; to obtain information on where their data is stored and how it is being used; to obtain the deletion of their data if it has been illegally collected and stored.
“WE CALL ON ALL STATES AND CORPORATIONS to respect these rights.
“WE CALL ON ALL CITIZENS to stand up and defend these rights.
“WE CALL ON THE UNITED NATIONS to acknowledge the central importance of protecting civil rights in the digital age, and to create an International Bill of Digital Rights.
“WE CALL ON GOVERNMENTS to sign and adhere to such a convention.”
Cave is one of many Australian signatories, including multiple Booker Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, Brian Castro, Helen Garner, Gail Jones, Nam Le, and Frank Moorhouse. Nobel winners include Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer.
The global pledge was organised by authors Juli Zeh, Ilija Trojanow, Eva Menasse, Janne Teller, Priya Basil, Isabel Cole, and Josef Haslinger. “Surveillance violates the private sphere and compromises freedom of thought,” said Zeh. “We all have to stand up now,” she added.
At the time of writing, the petition has amassed 2,614 signatures, with 2,386 still needed to reach the petition target. Readers can read the group’s mission statement in its entirety and view the full list of of signatories over at the petition page, here.