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Edward Snowden, Pussy Riot, and Ai Weiwei Launch Campaign To Fight Censorship

The New Yorker Festival 2014 - Edward Snowden Interviewed by Jane MayerThe New Yorker Festival 2014 - Edward Snowden Interviewed by Jane Mayer
Edward Snowden, interviewed by Jane Mayer during The New Yorker Festival in 2014.Photograph by Bryan Bedder — Getty Images for The New Yorker

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and the dissident group Pussy Riot are the central figures of an AdBlock campaign to promote free speech on the Internet.

In partnership with Amnesty International, AdBlock will replace many of the ad banners that it usually blocks with messages from the three in celebration of World Day Against Cyber Censorship, which will take place on March 12.

The messages will also be used to raise awareness of North Korean victims of cyber censorship. In a recently released Amnesty International report, the organization detailed the various laws that restrict North Korean citizens, including its ban on international calls from locals and the censorship of any overseas content on the Internet.


Amnesty also used the opportunity to reiterate its support for Apple (AAPL) in its ongoing legal battle against the FBI over the access of encrypted data on an iPhone used by a San Bernardino shooter.

“Free speech online is under serious threat as governments seek ever greater powers — through new laws and more intrusive technologies — to control the internet. When they are not shutting down websites and arresting bloggers, they are carrying out mass surveillance of our internet use. That is not the internet we want,” Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International, said in a statement.