On June 27, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center joined forces to fly a 135-foot-long airship bearing a downturned arrow and the words “Illegal Spying Below” over the National Security Agency’s $1.2-billion data center in Bluffdale, Utah.
The action was an attempt to draw attention to government spying and StandAgainstSpying.org, a group trying to stop it. According to organizers, the airship protest was a success.
“More than 30 articles were written about the airship, and those articles were collectively shared more than 51,000 times over social media within 72 hours,” EFF reported.
Documentarian Brian Knappenberger (The Internet’s Own Boy), explained that the large data center jutting out of the small Utah community made it a perfect target for the protest.
“While it is only one of several data centers, for many people the Bluffdale facility has become a symbol out-of-control, unconstitutional, dragnet surveillance, as well as a threat to the environment,” he said. “I thought it was important to document this audacious attempt to raise awareness of this secretive facility and pressure Congress to rein in the NSA.”
The effort, according to organizers, should serve to illustrate how Americans, no matter their political differences, should join forces to protect their privacy.
“This video shows how a common threat to the freedom of association drew our three organizations together, despite very different missions,” EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman said. “Now it’s time for Congress to build a diverse coalition to pass meaningful reform. We launched an airship, they need to land a bill on the president’s desk.”