Vault 7 Activism at The University of Alabama

Today, our YAL chapter tabled in our student center for an activism event to educate our student body about the recent Vault 7 leaks and the massive infringements on Americans’ civil liberties they reveal. Specifically, we covered information ranging from the PATRIOT Act to the specific techniques the CIA uses to infiltrate our privacy. We discussed methods such as keyloggers and webcam capturing, the secret CIA base in Frankfurt, Germany, and the CIA’s vast array of hacking tools. Reviewing all this, it seems that George Orwell didn’t go far enough in 1984!

The leaks came at an opportune time for our chapter, as we had just recently discussed the NSA and living in a surveillance state. We figured that Vault 7 would provide a perfect centerpiece for presenting this information to the student body, and we were right! Students showed genuine interest in our activism and the things the government is the doing to its own citizens. For some, especially those who hadn’t heard of the PATRIOT Act or Edward Snowden, it was quite the eye-opening experience. Our sign-up sheet received some great additions, and I’m confident that our chapter grew stronger today as a result of our work.

Personally, doing research into government surveillance programs was a wonderful refresher for me on why small government is important; they can’t monitor their own citizens if there’s no massive bureaucracy for them to hide behind. We made sure to talk to everyone today about how these acts violate our Fourth Amendment rights and the steps (asking your congresspeople to vote for and against certain bills) we must take to restore our liberties. This information was great to discuss as a chapter, and I’d highly recommend it for anyone especially interested in protecting our right to privacy!

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