Purdue University Students and Faculty Against Mass Surveillance

May 2014

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We, the members of the Purdue University community, stand together in protest of mass government surveillance and in support of digital rights, free speech, and academic freedom on campus. Thanks to the Edward Snowden leaks, we now know that the NSA has an unprecedented ability to monitor and record our online and cell phone communications, creating a virtual map of our day-to-day activities. We contend that this is a violation of our civil liberties and constitutional rights, and runs contrary to the core principles of discovery, learning, and engagement for which Purdue University stands.

Since our country’s inception, Americans have fought and sacrificed to ensure our basic civil liberties and freedoms, such as free speech and privacy. Universities, in particular, have long been upheld as bastions for freedom of thought, learning, communication, and innovation which, according to Purdue’s own mission statement, “[help] put knowledge to work to create new opportunities that advance our society and solve a variety of technical and social problems.” But recently that freedom has come under threat. Mass warrantless surveillance by the NSA has restricted our ability to freely think, act, research, innovate, and share ideas in a multitude of ways:

Mass surveillance and data collection by the NSA is carried out under the pretext of preventing terrorism, yet a 2013 study by the President’s Review Group found that this system is ineffective and easily abused. [4] Not only does this practice violate our First and Fourth amendment rights and basic civil liberties, it contradicts the very values and goals upon which our university was founded. As such, we call upon all Purdue University students, faculty, and staff to stand together in protest against digital surveillance on our campus by co-signing this letter. We also call upon President Mitch Daniels and our administrative leaders to devise sensible policies to minimize on-campus surveillance and promote a free and open atmosphere in which we can all think, learn, and speak without fear.

With hope and respect,
Jared M. Wright
Student Net Alliance, Purdue University

Current Signatories

Jared M. Wright. Student. College of Liberal Arts.
Tyler Anderson. Student. College of Liberal Arts.
Emily Harris. Student. College of Liberal Arts.
Catherine R. Salazar. Alumnus. College of Liberal Arts.
Jennifer Barton. Alumnus. College of Liberal Arts.
Emily. Alumnus. College of Liberal Arts.
Mihaela Vorvoreanu. Faculty. College of Technology.
Ty Miller. Student. College of Liberal Arts.
Vincent Ng. Student. College of Health and Human Sciences.
Preethi Krishnan. Student. College of Liberal Arts.
Alexandra Marin. Student. College of Liberal Arts.
Don O’Malley. Student. Krannert School of Management.



References


[1] http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2012/Q4/purdues-international-student-population-ranks-2nd-for-public-schools.html.

[2]http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/us/nsa-examines-social-networks-of-us-citizens.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&.

[3] Vorvoreanu, Mihaela & Carl H. Botan. 2001. “Examining Electronic Surveillance In The Workplace: A Review Of Theoretical Perspectives And Research Findings.” CERIAS Tech Report 2001-32, Purdue University. Paper presented to the Conference of the International Communication Association, Acapulco, Mexico.

[4]http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2013-12-12_rg_final_report.pdf.