Should participate in the Internet freedom movement at

holly.ross.drupal's picture

To participate, we would add a banner to the homepage on 11 February. Sample (not final) banner can be seen on the organizing site:

The Drupal Association, which is responsible for is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in the United States. We do have restrictions on political lobbying as a 501(c)3 but this kind of activity is perfectly legal for us to undertake.

As a bit of history, Angie Byron (webchick) shared some previous history for and advocacy issues: — this was the issue to do a similar thing for SOPA, and we did not take any action. — this is a thread of people complaining that we did not do anything about SOPA, while WordPress, Wikipedia, etc. did. — here we did get involved in politics and divorced ourselves from GoDaddy.

We recognize that our audience is not just American, but also feel that this is an important issue. What do you think?


From South Africa here...

Riaan Burger's picture

Please yes!

Let me try again ;-)

Participating in this campaign is just for Americans. The NSA and their partners spy on everyone all over the world... for obvious examples:

  • On any internet traffic passing American or UK borders through PRISM; Like any traffic to

  • The subvert the technology and trust in technology that Drupal users and develoeprs use on a day to day basis, like weakening security standards and corrupting security hardware.

Open source came out as shining star of goodness in all the revelations of the 2013; As part of the open source community at large, Drupal as a community itself should speak out against mass surveillance very clearly and loudly.

The very way our modules and sites' functionality is developed is done with respect to the users and with security in mind all the time. We can't fail to stand for such user rights now.

Plus one from Portugal

ricardoamaro's picture

Imagine what would be the future of Free and OpenSource software like Drupal, without Internet freedom?

1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.
synonyms: independence, self-government, self-determination, self-legislation, self rule, home rule, sovereignty, autonomy, autarky, democracy; the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.

Antonyms: dependence,restriction

We think we would like to keep and defend freedom, yes! :)


magtak's picture

Refer to comment title for more info :)

It's a no-brainer.

anibal's picture



mcduarte2000's picture

This is an important issue worldwide!

Give them an inch...

Lauro Scott-Parkin's picture

Although it currently may seem so, this is not just a national issue specific to the U.S.

Given the opportunity, it will only be a matter of time before the greater effects and / or more severe adoption is felt internationally.

Beware of the camel's nose.

Stand for the principles that are important to you

fejn's picture

As most have observed, this is not just a local "American" issue. The 'open' part of Open Source, Open Intenet, & even Open society are what we are fighting for here. Think about what benefits it has brought you, & how many new and interesting things you have been able to be a part of because of Drupal's Open Community. Any thing we can do to preserve this ideal will benefit people the world over in the long run. While we may not want to jump in and make a 'political issue' of this, not standing up for what freedoms we currently have will only make the efforts of people like Snowden more futile, & make those who are trying to marginalize him happier. Taking a position on the issues will make 'freedom' be more than the glib, & often facile phrase it has become in this country, rather than what it should be -- a declaration of principles.


Freedom is an universal issue

catarinavclemente's picture

We definitely should get united and take action.

US issue? There's concern in UK!

pdjohnson's picture

The Drupal project should consider doing this. It is an issue which is being closely monitored and reported by the UK media. I am sure most countries in the world are concerned.

With the scale of Drupal, we now have considerable influence.


Paul Johnson
Global Social Media Lead for DrupalCon

Yes please.

dddave's picture

Yes please.


Crell's picture

First, Holly, thank you very much for opening this issue for discussion. This is definitely a serious issue that warrants community discussion.

In answer, I would say "hell yes!" The ethos of Free Software is based on voluntary sharing of knowledge and code. But not, importantly, data. In fact, the entire point of sharing source code is so that individual people and organizations can ultimately have control over their own equipment, information, and digital lives. In many ways it is all about privacy: The security to know that my data is accessible to me, and my computer is used by me, and only me, unless I decide otherwise. Not me "and the company I bought it from", not me "and Apple/Google/Faceboook so they can sell me to marketers", not me "and the NSA because terrorists." Me, and only me.

Free Software is a tool to ensure individual digital sovereignty. It's a tool to ensure that I am not being spied on -- by anyone, private or public -- because I know and can verify that my gadgets and the software on them are not sneaking around behind my back.

I was discussing with Kris Vanderwater a few months ago the origins of Free Software. He commented "So how does it feel to live in a world where Richard Stallman was right [in his warnings and predictions]?" Answer: It's horrifying.

I freely admit to being more of a Free Software (ethically driven) than Open Source (pragmatically driven) person overall. From that POV, I would argue it is an ethical duty for Free Software projects to take a stand against invasions of the exact sort Free Software was founded to fight against. is a tier-one site, and we can, and should, use that position to take a collective stand against the exact sort of invasion of privacy and loss of control that Free Software and the GPL were created to stand against. This is Free Software's fight.

It's completely within the DA's mission to take a stand in favor of the individual freedoms the GPL speaks of. Let's do it, do it loudly, and do it proudly.

As usual, Crell is eloquent

jhodgdon's picture

Although I am in complete agreement with this campaign, like everyone else who has replied to this post as of this moment, I was actually leaning towards saying that shouldn't take a stand...

... Until I read Crell's reply here, which reminded me of the strong connection between Open Source software and freedom from government and corporate ownership/control/surveillance of our content and other data. Sometimes I get caught up in the "it's fun!" aspect of contributing to the Drupal project (I truly do enjoy most aspects of my role(s) in the project), and forget about the "it makes me feel good" aspects that keep me here. Thanks for the reminder, Crell.

So... With that in mind, I propose that we (a) put the banner on on that date and (b) also link prominently to a page on that explains why the Drupal project is supporting the effort -- for which (with his permission) Crell's post would be a great starting point.

Permission granted!

Crell's picture

Thanks, Jen. Permission absolutely granted, and I'd be happy to help write an expanded, less off-the-cuff version for such a page (which is a great idea).

Please run the banner!

NonProfit's picture

Hi Jen,

Like you, I typically agree that OS projects are best served when they remain focused on their core objective(s). What I would not want is the DA to begin to weigh in on a long list of social issues.

I've never before considered Crell's concept of "digital sovereignty." I too agree this is central to Drupal's ethic and thus one of the few topics I feel appropriate for the DA to officially endorse.

Furthermore, I'd like the Association to consider Mr. Snowden as a potential DrupalCon keynote (although I suspect he would have little interest speaking at the North American conference.)


gdd's picture

We should absolutely participate

+1 from me

pwolanin's picture

+1 from me

Yes, please participate

Diane Bryan's picture

The Internet is key to the sane future of humankind.


dbazuin's picture

It is a issue that should concern everybody everywhere, so YES.

i support this initiative!!

lpalgarvio's picture

i support this initiative!!

Luís Pedro Algarvio
Drupal and DevOps Developer, Evangelist & Trainer


slashrsm's picture

100% supporting this. Thank you for starting this initiative and thank you for asking community for feedback.

Janez Urevc - software engineer @ - @slashrsm -


kombuta's picture

I support this!

Thanks Holly and DA

jhodgdon's picture

I already replied above with my +1 for the idea...

But I also want to say thanks to Holly and the DA for bringing this up ahead of time and giving the community a forum to participate in the decision, with ample time to gauge support and figure out how best to do it.

+1 for the process too. :)

I think it's a fantastic idea

x.algorithm's picture

I think it's a fantastic idea to put up a banner and a statement that uses Crell's post as a springboard.

Thumbs up for this, It would

artofeclipse's picture

Thumbs up for this, It would be great to have it on front page.

Out of question

Balu Ertl's picture

After watching their video twice and reading through the entire press release (tl;dr), I feel myself informed enough on the topic to express my definite agreement with Drupal Association's participation in this movement.

1-2% of all websites globally running on Drupal (regarding to Dries' figures), such a significant FLOSS software can not afford to leave out from a serious movement like this. I trust the US citizen leaders of DA to find the proper depth of involvement based on their local knowledge about US Congress – not too sharply, but still effectively stand up and join the other big brands like Mozilla and EFF.

Please don't harm my enthusiasm of contributing to Drupal by not to take action :(

Absolutely Agree

Homotechsual's picture

I completely agree with this posts here that this is an issue on which Drupal, the Drupal Association and the community should get behind.

Yes Yes Yes

robin.prieschl's picture

I fully agree...


luckow's picture

and i like the idea that is a drupal website.

Looks like we are a go!

holly.ross.drupal's picture

Hi all -

Thanks to all of you who took the time to weigh in. I'm very excited about all the response, and looking forward to moving this forward. I very much like Jen Hodgdon's plan of also posting a statement in D.O that day. Crell - if you're up for authoring, we'll get it live.

I did double check with Drumm who wanted to raise two points - if we are unable to host the banner code ourselves, then it is possible that:

1) The hosting org will receive data about our users in the same vein that Google Analystics receives data about our users.

2) Serving the banner from the host could cause our page load to slow down, at which point, we may be compelled to take it down to preserve performance.

The folks behind the campaign have not released code for the banner yet, so we will have to wait and see Just want to double check that these are not deal-breakers for anyone.

On it!

Crell's picture

Awesome! I'll put together a short statement (a few paragraphs at most) and send it to you for review by the end of the week.


Riaan Burger's picture

Regarding: "1) The hosting org will receive data about our users in the same vein that Google Analystics receives data about our users."

That does leave one thinking. At least I came to this site through links on the EFF site and they still feature it on their front page. So my perception is that these guys are on the "right" side of the bad guys ;-)

But that still does not mean we're not sharing users' data (of visiting with a 3rd party without their consent. Wonder if privacy plug-ins like Disconnect will block it.

For anything other than this purpose, I'd be completely against adding the widget to and even think it may be a good idea to have a tick box for modules in the projects list that share data with 3rd parties to keep people aware of such things.

Even with this exception, I feel very uneasy and wish they didn't:

1) Ask for sign-up on that site and

2) Provide only a widget and not an image banner only for sites.

So from my side, an uneasy but still firm yes: let's participate.

Thank you so much Holly, the DA and everyone here for just being such absolutely cool people. I feel slightly more free just living in a world with all of you in it.

Developer chiming in

thomasdavis's picture

Hey guys, I'm one of the developers responsible for fleshing out the banner code(should be ready very soon).

I thought I would address your concerns about how we are protecting users privacy as best we can. Due to the nature of the protest it is actually one of our biggest concerns when building any of the projects. To begin with I will point out that absolutely everything we do is open source and can be found at

To make sure users aren't tracked by social networks, we built our own middle man server ->

Instead of using Google Analytics for our promotional sites, we use our own custom hosted Piwik server over SSL.

The banner is going to have heavy usage and we are most likely going to use Cloudfront to handle distribution. Cloudfront actually allows you to choose whether you would like to log traffic or not. We haven't made a full decision on logging yet but because everything is open source we will at least add to the documentation on how you can easily host our banner.

The banner we are developing will look similar to what's on Most importantly it will contain a form which allows website visitors to be directly connected to their local representatives(free of charge) by simply entering their mobile and zip code. Other banners are potentially in development and we would love to help out where we can with custom banners. (Wikipedia might potentially be running their own custom banner).

We have plenty of work still on our end and I would love for any developers with time to give us a hand.( Also feel free to shoot me emails with questions and suggestions. (

Going ahead

Riaan Burger's picture

If one were to go by replies on this topic alone, it looks like the right kind of support is in place for participating already. But considering other groups and individuals may also raise the question of privacy regarding the actual widget, it may be prudent to add a privacy link to the widget to a page explaining what you just did here thomasdavis.

A Drupal module with a block presenting the widget or one that would present selectable widgets for any future EFF campaigns (this won't end with this one campaign) may be a good idea too and perhaps can promote such a module before the actual day?

Got it?

Crell's picture

Hi Holly. Just checking to make sure you got the Google Doc invite I sent you with the draft writeup. If not, email me. :-)

Got it!

holly.ross.drupal's picture

Long weekend of traveling. Thanks Crell!

Another big YES vote here

willieseabrook's picture

Another big YES vote here


acouch's picture



marji's picture

Another yes, please. It is a very important cause we should support.
It's also good publicity for Drupal - to show to others that our comunity cares.

Sysadmin / DevOps Engineer at Morpht


Candice Downing - Drupal Geeks's picture

Yes. A Thousand Times Yes!

Hell. Yes.

Kim Ikovic -Drupal Geeks's picture

We have to take the power back from those who are violating our rights. So, HELL. YES.
p.s. Fellow Americans, if we don't stand against this, then, by default, we stand for it. I for one will not be disgraced that way...

Hell. Yes.

Kim Ikovic -Drupal Geeks's picture

We have to take the power back from those who are violating our rights. So, HELL. YES.
p.s. Fellow Americans, if we don't stand against this, then, by default, we stand for it. I for one will not be disgraced that way...

Although I'm for it, and

fizk's picture

Although I'm for it, and appreciate your passionate support, I don't like the "You're either with us or against us" rhetoric. People can be undecided on this issue, they may remain quiet for any number of reasons, but we can't automatically determine that everyone is on one side or the other.

Kim Ikovic -Drupal Geeks's picture

Greater people than I have said many things on the subject of complacency in the face of injustice. (see below) While it is indeed rhetoric, it is not mine alone.
This is a very simple issue, and I personally take exception to the idea that someone could be "on the fence" about our right to privacy. Are you are a free individual and with a right to your life and your privacy? I doubt that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding that question.
I don't believe that there can be a neutral ground in this.

Now, as far as's participation goes, that's a business decision that will have to be made by their management.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
Edmund Burke

Binary thinking

Balu Ertl's picture

var boolean isWithUs = 1;             // Well, good!
var boolean isWithUs = 0;            // Too bad.

The case of var boolean isWithUs = undefined not handled properly...

Maybe not,

fejn's picture

but as several others have pointed out (Kim, Burke, MLK), the undefined case tends to be handled as if the decision were 'isWithUs = 0' by default


Riaan Burger's picture

Sooo, Holly... have the NSA contacted you or the DA yet for the profile information and keys of those who posted in this thread? ;-)

Kim Ikovic -Drupal Geeks's picture

The NSA already has your info.....and mine. ;)

Quite possibly true, but this

fejn's picture

Quite possibly true, but this has gotten to a point where it is no longer funny -- just ask anyone who has lived in a police state somewhere else in the world...


holly.ross.drupal's picture

No contact from the NSA yet. But I guess that's sort of the point right - they won't be asking us...

It is a VERY Important Issue

rwilson0429's picture

Absolutely, should participate in the Internet freedom movement at It is shameful that such a movement is even necessary in a country whose national anthem screams the words 'land of the free'. Maybe it should be 'land of the monitored and the home of the fearful'.

as an old-school blogger who came to Drupal via CivicSpace

liza's picture


NSA != just America

DamienMcKenna's picture

We recognize that our audience is not just American, but also feel that this is an important issue.

Per Wikipedia:

NSA's mission, as set forth in Executive Order 12333, is to collect information that constitutes "foreign intelligence or counterintelligence" while not "acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons".

The NSA act globally, this problem isn't limited to just the USA.

As a "card" carrying member of the DA, I vote to strike.

Thanks Damien

holly.ross.drupal's picture

I'll refine - it's true that this issue has implication outside the US borders. However, ostensibly, as a US agency, it's US voices that will carry the most political weight (you know - in THEORY). And that's what we meant. The campaign is intended to rally the support of US people and institutions for this reason.

I'm having a hard time

christefano's picture

I'm having a hard time getting excited about this. When did become a political platform? As a community, we've rallied for causes in the past at our independent events and in our posts syndicated to Planet Drupal, but not "as" or because the Drupal Association got involved.

When the domains and SSL certificate for were switched away from GoDaddy I was glad, but that's because I think that GoDaddy's services, advertising and security record are crap. Using the sole example of leaving GoDaddy as a case in point for how and the Drupal Association are political — and hey, now we can be political again — seems misguided to me.

I went to and was surprised — and disappointed — to see that the only calls to action were to sign up for a newsletter and add a banner to my website. Maybe I'm missing something…

Yes, I think SOPA is bad. Yes, I mourn the loss of Aaron Swartz. But I would be much more comfortable with the Drupal Association staying out of external political movements and focusing its efforts on the Drupal community's own needs. If and the Drupal Association were to get involved in external politics, I'd hope that it would be in way other than symbolically posting a banner on for a day.

Riaan Burger's picture

Drupal is many things to many people. From the above posts you can see that for plenty, Drupal's identity, at least party, also identifies with freedom and that they feel that Drupal should speak to that part of it's identity.

I also feel that Drupal, like all free and open source software and even just two people sharing information freely, forms part of and exist because of essential freedoms and that we as a community should acknowledge that and support it. Especially because those freedoms are not, well, free or default. They need to be worked for and defended constantly and vigorously.

A DrupalCon video I watched a while ago had a speaker invite the audience to explain why we do not have a commercial app store. One person piped up with speculative answers, searching for a reason as we were probably all doing in our minds, but he was shot down very quickly by the speaker. Nobody else really showed an interest, either in explaining it to the speaker or in supporting the talk much more with participation. We're still sans an obvious overpowering commercial app store on Do. My take on this was that the Drupal community isn't all that adversarial; We're more supportive than detractive. So in stead if campaigning for no more talks on such commercialism, confronting that speaker further or really addressing the false dichotomy you present when you say "When did become a political platform?", there's just no answers. The incredible doactatic engine that is Drupal just continues to develop the world's best CMS without stopping to build some commercial app store, so it doesn't happen. The above thread simply fills with support, but I doubt as many will directly take on your post christefano. My best try:

I'd say this is not an external political item but something very important to Drupal as a community (not of independents, but of interdependence) and as a project.

Also... there is no way the NSA prefers open source software to closed source software, it's not like they can offer the open source community to patch our software with a back door for a quick buck ;-)

Seeing as a

fejn's picture

Seeing as a political platform is only part of the picture. As usual, the situation is much more complicated than that. We all have to have some vision of what we would like things to be like in the future (as a goal to work toward).

Maybe having as a solely political organization is the wrong move, but participating as an organization may teach us more about ways that we can influence the current horrible solution.

Think of trying to use as a political organization as a plot element in an ongoing drama (the fight against a seemingly immanent police state), rather than 'the event' that will lead to the final resolution of this mess; any learning we do along the way can only make us stronger, and not doing anything is probably the worst decision.

If provides only 'wimpy' options for taking action, maybe can help them figure out a way to put their message out in such a way that it can't just be ignored. Drupal undoubtedly contains a lot of ways to 'get the message out' -- this is essentially why 'viral messages/videos' can't be ignored any more (and why shutting down all access to the Internet is one of the first moves a government that wants to control its people makes).

Onward, Jeff

To chrstefano...

Kim Ikovic -Drupal Geeks's picture

I think that you are confusing "political" involvement with community involvement. I think that is is the right, and perhaps responsibility of those whose businesses rely upon the internet to protect the privacy of it's users. I can't help but wonder if you would have a different take on this if a private entity were the perpetrator instead of the government. Your rights are your rights no matter who is violating them.

Yes of course

ckosloff's picture

How can anybody harbour a doubt?
Orwell described "crime thought" as being condemned not by your actions but by your thoughts, that is exactly what is happening now.
They are creating an imaginary foe just to tightly control our persons, anybody can be imprisoned with arbitrary accusations.
No to the nightmare world that dark powers are creating!

The banner code has been

drumm's picture

The banner code has been posted at I don't see a Drupal module for it yet, anyone interested in making one?

For, we'll either use the module, or hack it straight into our theme or customizations module.

Looks like someone

Yes, there's a module

mgifford's picture

I'm not sure how it's better than just adding this to the footer of the page though:

<!--[if !(lt IE 8)]><!-->
   <script type="text/javascript">
     (function(){var e=document.createElement("script");e.type="text/javascript";e.async=true;e.src=document.location.protocol+"//";var t=document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0];t.parentNode.insertBefore(e,t)})()

Are we going to see this on & the association pages?

Seems like there is overwhelming support. I haven't done the math, but it's over 2/3rds support.

Has anyone done a tally of

christefano's picture

Has anyone done a tally of who is supporting this movement vs. who is supporting the Drupal Association becoming a political organization and the DA supporting this movement?

Permenantly close?

joelpittet's picture

And how do I remove this little banner thing? It's covering my dreditor when collapsed :(

Should be a close "X" box in

VValdo's picture

Should be a close "X" box in the top right corner of the banner.

That doesn't close it

joelpittet's picture

That doesn't close it completely (still covers dreditor buttons) and it keeps coming back for revenge!

lol.. comment deleted

liquidcms's picture

lol.. comment deleted

It is live!

mgifford's picture


It's great that this was done on Great that this decision was made on Jan 20th. Would be good to have a practice about how do do this in the future. Perhaps even a poll for future issues as I suggested here


There are some bugs in the implementation from the looks of it. Would be good to write up the experience for the future.

On my iPhone in Chrome I can't seem to close the banner.


I read through the comments and tried to identify folks as best as I could. The question was pretty clear. There was a lot of back & forth about this as is normal in this type of thread. The vast majority were in favour of adding the banner and were not discussing whether or not the DA should be political or having the DA website include this banner. The overwhelming view was lets do what we can to make it clear that there is opposition from this community.

Please correct me if I've got any of these wrong.

Riaan Burger - 1
ricardoamaro - 1
magtak - 1
anibal - 1
mcduarte2000 - 1
L.Scott-Parkin - 1?
fejn - 1??
catarinavclemente - 1
pdjohnson - 1
dddave - 1
Crell- 1
jhodgdon - 1
NonProfit - 1
heyrocker - 1
pwolanin - 1
Diane Bryan - 1
dbazuin - 1
lpalgarvio - 1
slashrsm - 1
kombuta - 1
x.algorithm - 1
artofeclipse - 1
Balu Ertl - 1
MJCO - 1
robin.prieschl - 1
luckow - 1
thomasdavis - ?
willieseabrook - 1
acouch - 1
marji - 1
Candice Downing... - 1
Kim Ikovic -Dru... - 1
fizk - ?
rwilson0429 - 1
liza - 1
DamienMcKenna - 1?
christefano - 0?
ckosloff - 1
VValdo - ?
liquidcms - 0?

Thanks for the tally,

christefano's picture

Thanks for the tally, mgifford.

. The overwhelming view was lets do what we can to make it clear that there is opposition from this community.

Yes, it's clear that members of the community support this. There are outspoken, politically-minded members of our community. I believe I'm one of them.

The question I'm asking, though, is whether we've adequately discussed if it's a good idea for the Drupal Association to use the website as a political platform. This is a policy decision that affects the future of the DA and This has been completely neglected in this discussion.

I'm concerned that now that the Drupal Association has used in this manner that it's a slippery slope when there's another political movement people want to use the front page (indeed, every page) of for.

Political, but not partisan

VValdo's picture

It may be a political human rights movement, but it's not an especially partisan one. Politicians standing in opposition to the spying range across the board politically from the right like tea partier and libertarian Rand Paul with a recent GOP resolution in opposition... to the left like liberal Bernie Sanders (independent), and Democrat Dick Durbin.

On the other hand, advocates of the NSA dragnet spying programs range politically from Democrats Barack Obama and Diane Feinstein to Republicans like Lindsey Graham, John Boehner, John McCain, and Dick Cheney.

Would it not be appropriate for to have voiced an opposition to SOPA? Or to defend Net Neutrality? It's a fair question you raise actually... should community-based organizations take political positions when the issue would directly affect its members? I kinda feel they should- I mean, that's how the collective voices of individuals are often heard and it's how their voices are called to action, as with the "call a congressman" feature of The Day We Fight...

But yeah, you don't want the site misrepresenting the voice of its members.... I guess it's a challenge faced by any large community.


fejn's picture


Re the comment: don't want the site misrepresenting the voice of its members....
I suspect that if DA decided to take a position on:
a) abortion
b) budget deficits
c) war in Afghanistan
That kind of position would be shot down pretty fast by the community as not being a priority issue for it. On the other hand, when it comes to efforts to rein in the Internet: the basis of many member's livelihoods, I suspect support will be pretty unequivocal: I think the community will decide what is important to it pretty fast.

It may be a political human

Jaypan's picture

It may be a political human rights movement, but it's not an especially partisan one.

Maybe not, but it's definitely a regional one. This movement is heavily focused US and US policies, and I would doubt that most of us are in the US.

Only local images are allowed.


Riaan Burger's picture

From South Africa here (second post), the NSA may be from the 'States, but their actions affect and represent international practice and I feel very much affected by them.

It's worth noting that the widget presented differently to me than to people in the 'States.

A regional issue?

VValdo's picture

Yeah I was going to say-- today's event was primarily directed at US citizens (though as mentioned there were international versions of the banner). However, I think everyone would agree that massive, deep dragnet infiltration of the Internet is an issue with international dimensions, not only because of the "five eyes" agreement involving information sharing between five English-speaking nations, and not just because of similar programs in other countries, both democratic and non-democratic.... but because the NSA appears to be primarily tasked with eavesdropping on non-US countries and collecting international communications without restriction. This is arguably a full-on attack of the Internet at large with an emphatic focus on collecting and inspecting non-US communications. As Drupal installs and the community exist almost entirely online, regardless of country, any such blanket monitoring of the Internet may be considered an attack on the medium in which Drupal is developed and operates, and Drupal itself is a likely target for government-sponsored infiltration, and so, I guess it may not be so inappropriate for to make it an issue.

The issue itself is not

catch's picture

The issue itself is not regional. Plenty of international governments have colluded with the NSA or have their own similar programs if they don't.

However this specific campaign very much was focused on the US and lobbying congress via petitions as a method of opposition.

I absolutely did not agree with the US-centric nature of the campaign, nor the exclusive focus on lobbying politicians (actually any campaign which involves lobbying politicians as a general rule because that's useless in 99.9% of cases) as a method for opposing this. That's a fault more with the campaign than having the banner on d.o though (the default SOPA banner was similarly limited in terms of how it addressed the issue).

What is a community for?

fejn's picture

While I agree with the concern that the DA not be used as a political platform for 'arbitrary political positions', we have to realize at some level that if we just lay back & don't say anything, soon we will not have any forum to express our opinions. At the root, how do we hope the Drupal community might impact any event? A 'contact your congressperson' might have more direct impact on an event than a simple banner, as they can thus quantify the sentiment.

In a large way, having the DA take a position on something which might affect the membership is a form of advertising. Just ask a few of the Drupalistas that work in that field.

we have to realize at some

Jaypan's picture

we have to realize at some level that if we just lay back & don't say anything, soon we will not have any forum to express our opinions.

There are plenty of forums to express opinions all over the net. I am quite vocal in my opinions - on non-Drupal communities where it is appropriate to express said opinions. is about Drupal, and that's all it should be about. It allows us to come together with a commonality, and introducing regional based political campaigns into it threatens to push us a part. As it was, in this thread there were a few opinions expressed that I have strong feelings against, except that I did not state them as I don't feel is the place where such debates should be occurring.

I said it in that thread, and I'll say it again, I agree with the message, but not the medium. I don't feel it was appropriate to run this campaign on And that's ignoring the horrible UX that went into it.

Only local images are allowed.

Not Political

Riaan Burger's picture

These issues, as a political matter, should not be on, but as they affect Drupal as an open project it should be. The kinds of funding and strong arm tactics the NSA and similar interests use against closed source projects are much ore effective than anything they try against open projects.

On a very basic level I believe Drupal as a community is not aligned with mass surveillance, insecure products and dilution of our websites' users' privacy. We should have a firm stance for those rights to privacy and through participation in this campaign we do so.

I would recommend that any

Alan D.'s picture

I would recommend that any banner / popup like this in the future also have some form of easily findable corresponding information on itself in the future.

i.e. the news item that is now promoted to the home page.

Even better would be to show an association prior to the event somewhere, at least then regular users would have been exposed to the ideology, even if the actual implementation details were obscured.

This is exactly what you would expect to see if a site was hacked and injected with some sort of campaign, I have personally seen other sites in the past that have the same exact same characteristics. While attacks normally inject porn or some other filth, I have seen WWF and other charity organizations advertised too.

As per, a lot of users have thought that either was hacked or that their own personal computers were compromised.

Personally, when it was released near midnight in the US, I created a security issue associated with this to raise attention to the web masters of the fact. I was split with my thinking: 80% towards that this was a hack / 20% towards that had dropped their politically neutral stance and it was deliberate.

Implementation, well, not the best. A dismiss option is a must have imho, rather than having it pop up like a viral infection of every page visit. When first released, it was triggering a very slow page load with the external script loads, blocking the standard JQuery onLoad too. :/

Edit: I think the slow load was preventing a session variable / cookie from being set that caused the constant pop-up effect

Worst idea ever

tbrenner's picture

Horrible idea. So what is the next political stance Drupal is going to take?

Maybe none, Drupal and open

ckosloff's picture

Maybe none, Drupal and open source will not exist.
Big Brother and Skynet will take over because of guys like you.

of course

tbrenner's picture

and this is what happens once political topics are brought up....

Well, that escalated quickly.

Garrett Albright's picture

Well, that escalated quickly.

I know some people want to

Jaypan's picture

I know some people want to say that this is not political, but the whole petition is relating to the acts of a government. Whether it's a bipartisan issue or not, or regional or not, the very fact that it is a petition to get a government to alter its behavior means that by its nature, it is political, and there is no getting around that.

I understand many people feel that it's an excellent petition, and on a personal level I agree. But obviously there are others who disagree, as there have been a few in this thread and in the thread in the forum on d.o. that feel that the actions by the NSA are justified. And look what happens when some of us have disagreed with the political discussion - that person gets referred to as "guys like you" - a clearly divisive comment if there ever was one.

Whether the actions are justified are not is a valid discussion, but not on, or any of its group sites. Drupal should not be a platform for political commentary, or if it is going to become one, then we need to have a place where we can hash out our political discussions (and lets be realistic - arguments) before we decide what position we will be taking as a community. Unfortunately, this decision was made by a few people, in a group that likely most of the community knows nothing about. Granted, these people were well intentioned, and I want to be clear, I'm not criticizing the intent. But with a million members, there just wasn't enough input from enough people to have made such a drastic decision for the entire community as a whole.

We often hash out ideas on a change to Drupal core for months, if not years, before making a final decision. We should be having that same standard of discussion for the direction the community will take when it comes to controversial issues, including some devil's advocate discussions to look at how things can go wrong, and how these decisions may affect others in the community who are not present to join in the conversation.

Only local images are allowed.

Project concerns may escalate to political matters

Riaan Burger's picture

You are so very right that it did not get enough exposure and input. It may be that we now have a debate about whether political matters may be worth concerning us over if it touches on things very relevant to the community and the project.

I'll have to concede that this is political, but I also have to stand by the idea that while it is political, it also impacts enough on the Drupal project that the banner should have been presented. It's not like we signed all members' names to the petition. It was just an opportunity for so many (and from discussion, there are many) members that do want to speak up to do so.

Maybe this can be seen as a test case for discussions, together with the previous campaigns that we did not partake in and maybe should have, to discuss future potential participation. Voting will just result in the populist winner, likely participation. Discussion, hopefully, to something more pragmatic.

We cannot, however draw the line with politics. What if the GPL becomes a strategic problem for a country's interests and its legitimacy becomes a political matter. As Drupal and its interests become bigger in the world, more of those will be political too. What do we do when our very ssh is being attacked by the NSA with poor random number generators as they are now... we should fight back. Without that sort of fundamental security measures all our sites and platforms are less secure and so are all our clients' and site visitors' privacy and data.

I see, to demean a decision

ckosloff's picture

I see, to demean a decision taken by the overwhelming majority of Drupal users by calling it a "horrible idea" is not "clearly divisive".

I never claimed it wasn't.

Jaypan's picture

I never claimed it wasn't. And I would agree that it is divisive. There is a difference however between criticizing an idea, and criticizing a person.

As to your qualification that the majority of users thought it was a good idea however, there are no numbers on that one way or the other. It's true the majority in this thread thought it was a good idea, but who knows whether or not the users here are representative of Drupal users as a whole.

Only local images are allowed.


thomasdavis's picture

Here are the numbers for "The Day We Fight Back"

Drupal's participation was out standing! Good work every body!

Ain't that bright? But not

ckosloff's picture

Ain't that bright?
But not enough, let's keep going and fcku Big Brother!


Crell's picture

Please keep your comments calm and your language appropriate. You're not helping your goal by swearing or lashing out at other users.

We would like to see more actions not less!'s picture

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

― Albert Einstein

Agree with @crell, it is vital to the integrity of the arguments they stay informative and articulate.

With that said,
We had over 100 sites participate in the strike and would really like to see drupal take a stance on many more issues. Creating a declaration of activism that is very important to the community. A wiki union of sorts.

Freedom software is steeped in activism and great idealism. From Richard Stallman on, humans should have the choice to be informants to a global government. As system administrators we are the gate keepers of free speech, human rights, freedom of thought and so much more. If we allow our technical class to be muted by secret courts, secret gag orders, secret contracts with government, secret access then what will result is a denial of ones self-expression into every aspect of our lives.

History is full of companies and organizations that refused to take a stance on basic human rights. (World War 2 - Gulf War 1 & 2) Even today at this vital time in history individuals, companies and organizations refuse to take a stance.

We say racism is wrong. We say violence is wrong. We say spying is wrong. If so, when will we show it. When will we stand and say slavery is not okey.

It is not that drupal should NOT stand. It seems drupal should stand for global issues that are NOT in debate.

Global spying is not a local issue. It has nothing to do with your local pub. Global spying is about the power of information. When you surf the web how do you know your actually not just in a NSA loop. If you have access to all known bank accounts, email, websites, phone. Its not hard to manipulate and control the most basic aspects of your life.

In closing, the question to me is not what drupal stands for. But what drupal does NOT stand for. If we do not take a stand on basic human and environmental issues then who will. We need to develop a declaration of freedom that drupal does stand for. Sex crimes, child abuse, racism, hate, violence. Not focus on petty political issues. What can the entire community agree on. Start with what we agree on, not what we do not.

Peace, love and honesty.

We need to keep things separate

fizk's picture

Although I'm personally in favour of campaigns like the, the more I think about this issue seriously, the more I realize isn't the right place for it.

Drupal is software and is about that software. Drupal was not created out of political activism, is not a political activist organization, and will never be a political activist organization, or have a political agenda.

We need to keep things separate. If people in the Drupal community, like me, who want to rally our fellow Drupalers to be aware of important issues outside of the Drupal software itself, but may harm the Drupal community, we need to create a separate space dedicated to that agenda.

It's not right and not fair to use to do our political bidding.

The Drupal software community does not need to spend its time and energy trying to determine which political problems to fight against, and which ones not to - even if we all agree that certain issues are truly noble. That's an important point to understand. We need to keep things separate. Being an activist for certain issues is all well and good, but is not the right place for it at all, and never will be.

This is controversial and hard to find consensus because of one main reason - was not created with the intention to engage in political activism.

We are all here for the Drupal software. As Rick Nashleanas said, this is our real common interest.

I propose that we create a sister, not-for-profit organization that becomes the political arm for all those in the Drupal community, like me, who wish to participate in political issues outside of the Drupal software itself. It's sole purpose will be abundantly clear in its charter - to raise awareness and rally for any political issues that may harm the Drupal community.

I also propose that, when obtaining/renewing your D.A. membership, people be given the option to choose how much of their membership fee be used for this sister, not-for-profit organization. The scale should range from 0% to X%, and not have a default value.

Alternatively, people could simply be given a link to the sister organization's website where they can obtain a separate membership to the sister organization, and the entire membership fee for the sister organization will be used for the sister organization alone.

Once this clear separation is in place, we should create a policy on that these political discussions not occur on, but instead be moved to the sister organization's website. Banners like the TheDayWeFightBack could be displayed on the sister organization's website, but never

To help raise awareness of the sister organization, members should be given the option to subscribe to the sister organization's newsletter under the "My newsletters" profile tab (

!indeed's picture

Great words.

In turn I would remain to propose a declaration for the site and community as a whole.

Create 10 values or commitments that the drupal community does support. Child hunger? Women's empowerment? Non-violence? Communication? Evidence? Science? Privacy? Community Access? Environment? Dolphines?

Drupal has a powerful voice and should not be meek in the face of un-just acts.

Truth is powerful and it prevails.

--Sojourner Truth

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