Free Software is not just about saving money. It's not just about sharing for sharing's sake. Free Software, at its core, is about empowering people. It is about ensuring that everyone has ultimate control over their own electronic lives, because the software that runs their electronic lives is under their control and not someone else's.

How do you know your computer is doing what you tell it to, and not someone else? How do you know your phone is only recording what you tell it to record? How do you know your files are only being read by you? How do you know your refrigerator isn't reporting on your diet to someone else?

The only way to be sure is to have the source code so that you or someone you trust can verify that it is doing only what you tell it to and your electronic tools are not secretly acting for someone else. Free Software is all about ensuring an individual's personal digital sovereignty, free from unwanted or secret invasion from anyone -- other people, corporations, or governments.

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 about privacy: The security to know that your data is accessible to you, and your computer is used by you, and only you, unless you decide otherwise.

Recent revelations, however, have shown that people's digital sovereignty is under even more attack than before. Both the American and British governments have been found violating the digital privacy of millions of people in their own countries and around the world. That is exactly the sort of attack on individual digital sovereignty that Free Software was created to combat.

As a leading Free Software project, the Drupal Community opposes such privacy invasions. We believe it is our ethical duty to stand with The Day We Fight Back and others who oppose such violations of individual digital sovereignty. We encourage all people, all over the world, to take a stand for digital freedom. If you are in the United States you can use the banner at the bottom of this page to locate and contact your Congressional representatives and tell them to oppose further infringement of individual privacy rights and to force the NSA and similar agencies to obey the law in both letter and spirit.


vinoth.3v’s picture

We encourage all people, all over the world, to take a stand for digital freedom.
and Use LINUX. :)

Vinoth - வினோத்

duckzland’s picture

Linux wont help you.... ISP will and can still snoop into your internet data.

So use Linux and stay offline for maximum protection :)

if you can use drupal why use others?

vinoth.3v’s picture

It is better than having a backdoor spyware on my system permanently ;)

Vinoth - வினோத்

duckzland’s picture

ever heard of root kit?

if you can use drupal why use others?

vinoth.3v’s picture

yes, though 1 billion != 45 :)

Edit: as of today, Micro$oft confirms that IE 9, 10 has vulnerability and it asked ms users to upgrade to IE 11, which means IE11 has no vulnerability but yet to be found :)

Really, I agree, we can pay to Apple to get a decent Software, but why people should pay to get worms and viruses? linux is better here,

Vinoth - வினோத்

mikeaja’s picture

@vinoth_3v I think you're missing the point a bit. As a Windows user, I fully appreciate certain advantages / ideology of Linux (although every program would also need to be open source.......). However, this article and action is not about that. The internet activity of either system is the same in the end.

p4trizio’s picture

I signed in the petition, wonderful initiative

Elicos Drupal Service Provider, based in Macerata (Italy)

thedavidmeister’s picture

I signed the petition but i still get the annoying popup. Embarrassingly badly coded for such a high profile site as d.o :(

nightonfire’s picture

Please make the banner go away after I sign this is so annoying.

markcarver’s picture

Agreed, this is VERY annoying and hides patch reviewing buttons in Dreditor.

drupalshrek’s picture

I don't agree with the way the NSA has been hacking into everything and everybody.

However, I don't think this is appropriate for to be involved in such a front-page way in a political cause which has only very tenuous links with open source software.


douggreen’s picture

The banner is way to large and obtrusive. I thought that d.o had been hacked when I saw this, it takes over the entire screen.

Further, I hope that the DA has had a discussion about things like political action, and singleness of purpose. While political statements like this are IMO great for the individuals, and while many Drupal developers lean both left and some libertarian, political statements can embroil the community in controversy and detract from the project.

Doug Green

holly.ross.drupal’s picture

Hi Doug -

This kind of participation in a political statement is not something that we take lightly, so we definitely opened this up to the community for discussion and did our best to ensure that it got out to folks. Here's the discussion:

At the time, we had no idea how the banner would be implemented, and we're definitely hearing your (and other) feedback on that. We will absolutely conduct a post-mortem on this in the Association group so that we can learn from this experience.


SocialNicheGuru’s picture

Holly and,

thank you for taking a stand.

Politics is the interaction among people. That is fundamentally what we all do everyday.

Taking up a singular cause having to do directly with our ability to operate in an open, honest environment is a profound move.

While not all issues warrant such attention, I applaud you for taking this one up and believe that is the RIGHT place for it.

If we don't stand for our digital privacy as an open source community, who will?

If we leave it for the next group or the next forum, then how will we all solve it?

Too many times in our history those who should have headed the call waited too long.

So again, thank you. It is important. This is needed.

Anietie Ekanem
Helping foundations and companies deliver the right message to the right NICHE at the right time.
Delivering inSITE(TM), we empower you to deliver the right product and the right message to the right NICHE at the right time across all product, marketing, and sales channels.

SDOCpub’s picture

Politics aside, what module did you use to implement the pull-up banner? :-)

budda’s picture

I'm glad it's not just me who feels this political banner obstruction is a stupid move. At the very least can the banner be restricted to visitors from the uSA who may have some use for it?

Maybe this fruitless campaign is better served from individual agencies who use open source software rathe than forcing it in everyone's face on

On a side note the black banner obscures the comment box when trying reply on a tablet device.

Garrett Albright’s picture

Though I agree with the cause, it is incredibly inappropriate for the project to take sides on political issues, especially America-specific ones. And the banner is just so effing tacky and obtrusive. It needs to go.

tbrenner’s picture

I agree...since when did Drupal become political?

drupalshrek’s picture

I fully agree: the cause is a fine one, but it is incredibly inappropriate for to take sides on such a political issue which has nothing whatsoever to do with Drupal or open-source software.


gooney0’s picture

I agree. I don't see what Drupal has to do with the NSA. Most of our projects are websites we're hoping lots of people will see.

I use and support open source projects but that doesn't mean I support other political causes. It's the best software, but it's just software.

sigmamonster’s picture

While I respect your right to feel that way. I think that the United States of America to remain a great country the citizens must question the power and tools we allow our government to use. It needs to be a debate and it needs to be a subject on the table. So I hope you will agree that it is such an important issue that we should all make a stand no matter what side you are on. I think that debate can only help us be better citizens and make the United States a better country.

Jaypan’s picture

I agree with the message, just not the medium. There is a time and a place for everything, and just doesn't seem like the right place at any time for political messages.

I'd like to know more about who made the decision to place this banner on the site, and what sort of vetting process it went through before being approved. Was this an open discussion somewhere that we can see? Or did it happen somewhere that we as the general public don't have access to?

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
holly.ross.drupal’s picture

Hi Jaypan -

We did indeed have a discussion for a couple of weeks. We certainly tried to make sure that lots of people saw it, and I'm sorry if we failed on that part. Here's the post and the discussion:


mheinke’s picture

I love the fact that this open source project is taking a stand against mass survailiance. makes me like the DA even more!

Claudiu Arbanas’s picture

Don't you wanna know more about who made the decision to allow NSA to track your activity on the internet? Who made the decision to allow NSA to track your cellphone data including it's location? ... and what sort of vetting process it went through before being approved.

Don't you wanna know if it was this an open discussion somewhere that we can see? Or did it happen somewhere that we as the general public don't have access to?

Jaypan’s picture

Yes I do, and that's why I have discussed it in depth in more appropriate places.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
sabsbrain’s picture

When this popup appeared first I thought had been the victim of a hack attack.

However seeing the news article I have to question if is the place for this?

Firstly, its not built with Symfony!

Although I suppose it is 'invented elsewhere' so one of the modern-day prerequisites for anything being on drupal seems to have been met I suppose.

Secondly, I'm in the UK. I wasn't aware we had a US congressman. I thought we were currently beling taken over by the EU not the US. This must have been lost in the floods.

Thirdly - It makes look like its been hacked - hardly the message to give about what we know to be a secure and well built system. The popup also keeps randomly popping up on different page visits.

Is this going to be on for a day? Or for a longer period?

I look forward to normal service being resumed soon!

reallifedigital’s picture

This is a little strange, and caused some head scratching.

There's also an irony somewhere in us being encouraged to put our private details onto a list when the whole point is about privacy.

I too would like to know who and how the community was consulted on the banner's installation. Not for culpability's sake, but I'm a little concerned that this may become a regular "feature" of What are people's thoughts on the process for this kind of thing?

Despite this- I think it's a very worthy campaign and we need to make a stand somehow- it just could be less invasive in terms of its display. It fills the entire screen when using a small laptop. (But I guess it looks superb on a trendy Mac) ;)

Much love despite my gripes!

NSA go do one.

UPDATE: It appears Holly has already answered my question above. Should participate in the Internet freedom movement at

Barry Fisher

holly.ross.drupal’s picture

Thanks for finding my reply before I could do that for you! :) I would like to stress that we certainly doubt this would become a regular part of It's a dramatic move, and if we do it all the time, it removes the impact.

I DO want to stress that I 100% hear the complaints about how the banner was implemented. I'll create a post-mortem conversation on GDO tomorrow so we can review the issues and create some parameters for potential future (but not frequent!) issues. Thanks for you patience while we learn together!

holly.ross.drupal’s picture

The banner will only be on the site for one day, so things will be back to normal soon. I also understand that Adblockers will remove the banner so that you don't have to deal with it.

christefano’s picture

The adblocker I use (Adblock Plus) didn't block the banner from appearing.

I have to say I'm disappointed with how the Drupal Association railroaded this through and the way this event has turned into a political platform. My feelings about this have been posted at

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.

… and at

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.

giorgio79’s picture

I don't agree with the op and I would like to opt out of this banner.
If NSA snooping will help prevent another WTC or Boston bombing then so be it. NSA has my full support.

A free for all mentality creates projects like Bitcoin used by maffiosos and outlaws to launder money. Even in Drupal there is a so called benevolent dictator no?

Jaypan’s picture

This is exactly the type of reason why I don't think d.o. is appropriate for this type of campaign. Having such a viewpoint is worthy of debate, but d.o. is a place for Drupal, it is is not the place for political discussions. This kind of political activism encourages such debate. If we are going to have political activism, then we also need a section of the forum where it is allowed to debate it, and we are going to have to deal with the fallout from such as section of the forum.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
tbrenner’s picture

I agree - this just opens the door to Drupal picking sides on the next election or the next hot political issue. Should Drupal post something about gay marriage or etc? Ugh....I liked Drupal because it appeared just plain old neutral with no bias.

mheinke’s picture

I would be fine with it IF they followed the laws that are in place.

being above the law, with that much power is NEVER a good thing

Jaypan’s picture

One thing I've just realized in reading more into this, the date is February 11th. I'm at GMT+900, and by the time I first saw this ad, it was already the 12th for me.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
WorldFallz’s picture

Some random thoughts:

first thing that comes to mind is there is definitely a disconnect in thinking that something posted to will reach enough of the user community. Seems to me for this type of issue a cross post to this forum would be appropriate. I know I rarely check the associations group-- i also don't often check the groups' home page (and it doesn't seem to have even been front paged there). I'm sure there are others who's primary vehicle for news is and not, lol.

second, leaving aside whether or not should participate at all, the implementation was breathtakingly horrendous. It took me about 1/2 an hour, after I realized neither nor my ipad had been hacked which also wasted some time, to find a combination of browser and computer that didn't 1) didn't crash, 2) didn't require me to disable js, and 3) didn't allow the popup to take over my page on every. single. page. load. I still can't use my ipad, but at least i could use firefox with stylish to supress it. (and no, for whatever reason, my ad blocker was of no use).

In any case that's pretty lame and mickey mouse for a website as high profile as

And finally, as others have mentioned, besides coming off as one of those pop over/under "YOU'VE BEEN INFECTED" scams, I have a huge problem being asked for my phone number and email address in the name of protecting 'privacy'. really?

Care about the future of the forums? Please join our conversation and show support for improving the forums infrastructure.

mheinke’s picture

did you not know this was going on?

this was a relitively BIG initiative across the internet, im amazed that anyone who read the banner "TODAY WE FIGHT BACK" would think they have been hacked.....

but anyway, other that that i completely agree. Groups.D.O is not really the best place as many people dont go to groups. a call to action on the homepage would have been nice.

but whatever, I like the meaning behind it!

Garrett Albright’s picture

did you not know this was going on?

Until I saw the banner appear today both here and on Reddit, I had no idea. And I like to think I'm a fairly internet-savvy person.

WorldFallz’s picture

nope... I hadn't heard a word. And I'm on the internet and in the off and on all day just about every day. Not to mention several hours of cable news every morning as well. Contrast that to knowing about SOPA almost from the very beginning.

Not sure where the issue was but there you have it. I should have definitely heard about it but didn't.

And I probably should have googled it too-- but it in all honestly, the implementation was so cheesy and bug ridden and asking for not only my email but my phone number as well, I really did think it had to be a scam, lol. By the time I realized it wasn't, I was so irritated at having my browser and ipad crash on every page request I became obsessed with getting 'my' access back, lol.

And for the record-- i happen to believe the NSA is off the rails and have contacted my state, local, and federal representatives long ago-- as well as signed petitions and what not. I'm an activist at heart. So my problem with what happened today has nothing to do with the issue itself. I just don't happen to think this was the 'proper' (for lack of a better word) method to handle it. And the implementation was certainly not appropriate.

Care about the future of the forums? Please join our conversation and show support for improving the forums infrastructure.

Jaypan’s picture

I had never heard of it before today.

im amazed that anyone who read the banner "TODAY WE FIGHT BACK" would think they have been hacked.....

That's in fact the exact type of text that you would expect to see when a site gets hacked - the hackers saying that they are fighting for something!

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
mheinke’s picture

im actually pretty shocked. i couldnt get away from it the last 2 weeks....

it was on every linux/open source podcast i listen to (including HPR)
it was on twitter a ton
it was on facebook

this saddens me that even the technical people of the world didnt get the message..i thought they had a pretty wide marketing campaign.

Jaypan’s picture

I don't listen to podcasts, and I'm not a Twitter user. I didn't see anything of such on facebook.

Remember there are all types of people on Drupal. Not all are techy. I'm not particularly a tech person myself, I just really like Drupal.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
WorldFallz’s picture

I don't listen to podcasts, and I'm not a Twitter user. I didn't see anything of such on facebook

i couldn't have said be better myself, lol. And I am a techy... i build my own computers, fix everyone elses, figure out how to multi boot multiple flavors of linux on the same box, teach myself new programming languages in my spare time just because, play all sorts of games, etc.

However, valuing my privacy, which is what this campaign is supposed to be all about, means to me not sharing every little detail of my life via twitter, facebook, foursqaure, hangouts, and whatever other scam some 18 year old geek dreams up to con people into giving up their personal info for the profit of someone else.

Care about the future of the forums? Please join our conversation and show support for improving the forums infrastructure.

Jaypan’s picture

Yeah, the only social networking I use is Facebook, and if half of my friends and all of my family wasn't overseas (or from their perspective, if I wasn't), I would have closed my account years ago. I'm not really into social networking, or blogs. I just want to program, and spend time with my family. And relating that to your earlier point, I never check, which is why I entirely missed the discussion where this proposal took place.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
farfanfelipe’s picture

I agree that the governments all around the world, not only the US use power to enforce what is convenient for their own interests. NSA is an agency criticized by everybody and we could create a discussion in a separate blog about this or even better, visit wikileaks or even better follow up their twitter account...

Anyways, I really find that Drupal should not get involve with this kind of movements, it is a separate and political matter.

tbrenner’s picture

Not signing this, mostly because I am so irritated that Drupal would jump into the political realm. I almost wish I paid for Drupal just so I could quit paying for it out of anger.

I'm not picking sides on the debate, I just lost a huge amount of respect for what I thought was an unbiased organization. I hate to see what is going to be posted during the next presidential election!

imshuffling’s picture

Bit awkward being that the Whitehouse website is built on Drupal.....

tic2000’s picture

What was discussed in that post was if d.o should participate, but not how this will be implemented. And the way it was implemented is very poor. Intrusive and annoyingly persistent. Not even a little bit of UX to at least keep it collapsed once a user collapsed it for the first time.

IF other causes will make d.o decide to support them, I hope the implementation will be given more thought then the 5 seconds it got now, which was the time required to copy paste the code.

And, like others I had no idea about this cause and after seeing its way of marketing itself, I don't want to know more about it either.

vinoth.3v’s picture

Zeroth thing is (yes, start with zero :) ), Drupal just wanted to aware drupals about Americaroid mind of NSA. - Job Done!

First thing is, it is for just one day, and it is gone already. - Good!

Second thing is, the argument, "should drupal participate political issues?" - Drupals already had discussions about it, So raising voice here doesn't makes any sense.

Third thing is, The way the popup ad/banner was implemented - Yes it is Bad. Please make it better UX next time. :)

Vinoth - வினோத்

Jaypan’s picture

Second thing is, the argument, "should drupal participate political issues?" - Drupals already had discussions about it, So raising voice here doesn't makes any sense.

This is the official Drupal forum, on It most definitely does make sense to discuss it here.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
digi24’s picture

Drupal is a wonderful international project that benefits from developers all over the world. But if it now becomes practice, to associate this project with political messages, sooner or later we will get to a point were some people might not agree with a campaign or even stop participating in the Drupal project, either because they do not want to be associated with these messages or because they will be simply blocked by their governments.

On a more practical level, this practice might have a negative impact on Drupal attributions within customer websites, some clients do not care about links or logos to "technical stuff", but they would strongly oppose links to anything else.

formerly registered as drupal24

topham’s picture


I work for a government organization that is often under significant scrutiny. We sell alcohol and run casinos. We also use Drupal. I can find you thousands of people that would prefer we not sell alcohol, that we not run casinos. Are you going to take up the cause with them in the future? If Drupal becomes divided politically then organizations like mine will no longer use Drupal, instead we would likely abandon open source and move to more proprietary solutions.

Who benefits from this?

jneubert’s picture

Neutral isn't keeping our mouth shut when the very basics of the world wide web (which are the very basics of Drupal, too) are undermined, and it is turned into a weapon against people. So I greatly appreciate that Drupal took a stand here.

Jaypan’s picture

Actually neutral would be exactly keeping our mouths shut and not taking a stand in any direction. And if the governments want to know what is on our Drupal sites, they will go right to our hosting companies for the most part, bypassing us altogether.

But regardless, this is a political discussion, and as a community, without extensive discussion, there is no good reason to justify supporting one group's political opinions over another.

And it's not like there aren't a million other places on the internet where opinions can be given on any political matter one wants.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
swim’s picture

People need to calm down, it's 1 day out of your life. Moreover there was ample time for you to voice your opinions in the D.O discussion.

Jaypan’s picture

1) You assume that everyone knew that there was a D.O. discussion on which to voice an opinion. And that thread only went for a month, 'ample time' is a subjective comment.
2) It's only one day on which the campaign went on, but the implications to direction that will go are much larger than that.

If you don't think it's a big deal, that's fair, no one is saying you have to. But you should respect the position of those of us for whom it is a bigger deal.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
swim’s picture

Hey Jaypan,

just want to be clear I was not relpying to you directly, I love your blog ;).

I think we have to assume people *should know about the D.O discussion. If you use and want a say; be active in the respective topics or at least make an effort to read them. I don't think it's fair the association can be given grief over this when it was put up for discussion over a month ago.

giorgio79’s picture !=

WorldFallz’s picture

I think we have to assume people *should know about the D.O discussion.

uh... no. You know what they say about ASS-u-me right? That in fact was probably the biggest problem here in the first place. As the other poster pointed out !=

Care about the future of the forums? Please join our conversation and show support for improving the forums infrastructure.

holly.ross.drupal’s picture

I wanted to make sure that we can continue the conversation about how this was implemented so we can continue to learn. I would like to keep the political discussion (should we participate in these kinds of efforts) separate for the moment, and just address two issues: How did we communicate this idea to the community? and How could we have implemented this better? If you want to ad more thoughts to the conversation, I've added a new discussion on the


Jaypan’s picture

I've added my relevant comments there, and look forward to a link pointing us at where we can discuss whether or not Drupal should be involved in political campaigns.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
holly.ross.drupal’s picture

Thanks jaypan - I have very much appreciated your thoughtfulness in the discussion.

Jaypan’s picture

Thanks Holly I appreciate the Drupal Association's transparency on the matter, and openness to feedback!

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
drzraf’s picture

empowering is about being able to "hack core".
This is exactly what Drupal code-base makes impossible unless spending years of API learning.
And this what makes Drupal very specific among all GPL'ed software since one is totally dependant of (expensive) experts. [ although systemd is another example ]

Jaypan’s picture

What? You can hack core if you want, it's open source. It's just strongly recommended not to do.

Not having to hack core to add functionality however is Drupal's strength.

Checkout my Japan podcasts.
gilbibius’s picture

Open Source gave me freedom, i have to respond.