Pussy Riot, Edward Snowden and Ai Weiwei Join Campaign to Protest Cyber Censorship

ANDREW COWIE/AFP/Getty Images
Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina of Pussy Riot pose for photographs at Amnesty International UK headquarters in East London on Nov. 14, 2014. 

AdBlock is hoping you’ll let at least one message through on Saturday (March 12) as it teams up with Amnesty International for the World Day against Cyber Censorship. Throughout the day, AdBlock’s 40 million users will be asked to see messages about censorship from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Russian punk activists Pussy Riot, as well as North Korean dissidents.

"Authorities don’t just use handcuffs and arrests, but also media attacks," says Pussy Riot in their message.

"Even if you're not doing anything wrong, you're being watched and recorded," Snowden warns.

"Without freedom of speech there is no modern world, just a barbaric one," says Weiwei.

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Amnesty announced the campaign on its website, saying that many governments are "avidly seeking the power to control" online communication.

"Some states are engaged in Orwellian levels of surveillance, particularly targeting the lives and work of the people who defend our human rights -- lawyers, journalists and peaceful activists. This continuing development of new methods of repression in reaction to increased connectivity is a major threat to our freedom of expression," said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.

Gabriel Cubbage, CEO of AdBlock, said the company would host the Amnesty banners for one day only, "because we believe users should be part of the conversation about online privacy." Cabbage urged AdBlock users to "take a moment to consider that in an increasingly information-driven world, when your right to digital privacy is threatened, so is your right to free expression."